memorial to airman Arthur Brown in Nantwich

The pilot who diverted his World War Two plane away from Nantwich town centre before crashing close to the river, is to be honoured with the Freedom of Nantwich.

Sunday January 14 2024 will mark the 80th anniversary of Lieutenant Arthur Lesley Brown’s act of bravery.

He flew his faulty Thunderbolt plane away from Nantwich’s schools and houses, sacrificing his own life to save others.

The crash is marked permanently by the ‘Airman’s Grave’ close to the River Weaver not far from Nantwich Lake.

Now Lt Brown’s family are travelling over from America to mark the 80th anniversary and receive the posthumous “Freedom of Nantwich” in his name.

There will be a service at St Mary’s Church in Nantwich, beginning at 10.45am, where the honour from Nantwich Town Council will be presented.

The award is the first of its kind for Nantwich, and is the highest possible honour the town can bestow an individual.

A spokesperson for Nantwich Town Council said: “The young American pilot’s fate has become interwoven with the town’s history, with the landowner where the plane crashed erecting a memorial, and this award is a small token of the town’s gratitude.”

Following the service, a parade led by the Cheshire Constabulary Police Band will leave Love Lane carpark and head down Shrewbridge Road and assembling at the Airman’s Grave for a short service.

airman's grave sculpture in Nantwich


  1. Copy error changed now, given it was 80yrs ago, why bother now, seems quite rude to let all these years pass, without an official thanks like this

  2. We should never forget the sacrifice that so many made. We are very fortunate to live in relative security and peace. In the Second World War UK losses including civilian deaths were some 450,000. The Americans , Canadians members of the Common Wealth and the Empire suffered very high losses.
    I think it is absolutely right that we never forget and thank and appreciate the sacrifice made by so many for us.
    I pay my respect at Arthur Brown’s Grave from time to time. I am pleased he and his family are being honoured.

  3. America not Canada

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