A Sleepless Night…….

Dad, front row left, his pilot, Vernon John Zinzan and navigator James George Sydney Coote. Middle row Sgt. H. Hutchinson, Mid Upper Gunner. Back row from left Sgt. A. Ackroyd, Flight Engineer and Sgt. M. Parr, Wireless Operator.

I went to bed last night with my mind turning like a washing machine regarding the photos I received from Helen. I don’t know how the brain works when you are asleep, but obviously I was doing some sort of processing. I woke at about 4.00am with the sudden realisation that Vernon at least is in the group photograph with the Lancaster in it.

Out of bed, into the studio and turn the computer on – Vernon’s heavy brow is very distinct and I swear to god there is a chap near Bob in the photo with the same heavy brow – to be honest I am not sure I consciously remember seeing this individual, but I wake up sure that I have, maybe I haven’t properly woken up – at this point, I have no idea, other than a belief that he is there……

I open up the group picture and the crew photo I got from Peter with his Dad in it – I don’t even have to zoom – next door but one to Bob in the front row is Vernon, so obviously that I can’t believe I didn’t see it straight away.

Zooming into the group shot to get a better look at Vernon and it’s as if a light has suddenly been turned on. It is Vernon, there’s no question – and next to him is James the navigator. Before I have time to take this in I realise that stood in the 2 rows behind Dad, Vernon and James are Sergeants Hutchinson, Ackroyd and Parr!?!

I grunt with pleased satisfaction, get up and stagger off back to bed. Noisily positioning myself under the covers causes Bev to suddenly wake…

‘Where have you been? What’s happened? Have you been up?
‘yeah….just found the boys in that photo…Dad and Vernon and the rest….there all the bloody time……sods…….’
You’ve been where? What photo?

I am reliably informed at the point of expected reply, I am again, fast asleep…..

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