Vicar appeals to locate family of Scottish bus crash soldier

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A vicar is appealing for friends and relatives of a Ripley soldier who was killed in a bus crash in Scotland during the Second World War to get in touch.

Scott McCarthy, Minister to Langholm, a small town just across the border with Cumbria, will be holding a memorial service to mark the 75th anniversary of the crash in August.

It is possible that the Ripley man, Leslie Burgin, 23, of Waingroves Road, was stationed at a large military camp nearby at the time of the accident.

He, along with another soldier from Wiltshire, aged 32, and two girls, aged seven and nine, were killed when the bus they were travelling in collided with a lorry and plunged 50 feet down an embankment on August 12, 1942.

The Rev McCarthy said: “It probably comes as a surprise that a four-person fatality attracts this kind of attention 75 years later, but we are a small community here and this made quite an impact - especially since two young girls were killed.

“There are still people in the town who remember the girls but it would be inappropriate to remember them and not the soldiers.

“These lads had been sent up for the war and were perhaps anticipating fighting abroad but ended up dying in a bus accident in Scotland.”

The memorial will be held in Langholm on August 12.

For more information phone Reverend McCarthy on 013873 80252 or email ISMcCarthy@churchofscotland.org.uk.