1982 - The Douala Memorial
During the course of looking into the history surrounding the accident at Douala, I am heartened to know that a number of families have found the web pages published.
Many thought the accident had been forgotten and were pleased to see the images of the memorial, that many have never been able to visit.
One gentleman, Norman Hart, lost his parents onboard G-ARUD that fateful flight. But he was able to visit the site in 1982, courtesy of British Caledonian. Norman flew in and only had a few hours to visit the memorial before departing on the returning BCal flight that same day.
Keith Gascoigne was on a leave relief stint in Douala at that time, and with a few days notice he was able arrange the memorial's first spruce up, all undertaken in time for Norman's visit.
Below we have some of the photos taken by Norman and the memorial as it was in 1982.
Mr and Mrs Hart
Norman at the memorial
Norman's newspaper files also included a passenger list as published by a South African newspaper in 1962. I have correlated that with a limited list from the London Times and now believe I have as complete a passenger list as possible. Out of respect to the family members I do not plan to publish this list, but I can make it available to any family members who may wish to have a copy. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Douala 1962 - 2015
The investigation work, and physical work undertaken in Douala, have felt like a very necessary thing to do. I found that Douala always "cropped up" when I least expected it to and on a regular basis too; to the point where it could not be ignored.
I am not sure why, maybe it thought it was in danger of being forgotten, maybe it was because no one was brought home and precious few were able to visit their relatives as it was a long way from both the UK and South Africa. But without doubt it happened in a very different world, one without 24hour news coverage, without social media and one with poor communications compared to today.
I am pleased to say the efforts made in 2015 have shown that Douala has not been forgotten, it is very much still in the minds of the relatives and also all who helped raise the funds for the works - my thanks to everyone for their contributions, and also my thanks to those who are many thousands of miles away who helped too.
Douala is remembered.