Plan submitted for blue plaque to commemorate Wakefield World War II Dambusters hero

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A planning application has been submitted to pay tribute to a gunner from Wakefield who took part in the Dambusters Raid.

The application, submitted to Wakefield Council, requests that a blue plaque to commemorate Sft Wilfred Ibbotson is installed at his previous home at Bretton Lodge Cottage, Park Lane.

Sgt Ibbotson, who was born in Netherton, died during the daring Second World War raids in May 1943 that destroyed dams in Germany’s Ruhr Valley.

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If approved, the plaque will read: "Dambuster Hero Sergeant Wilfred Ibbotson, 1913-1943, Lived here in 1939.

Sgt Wilfred IbbotsonSgt Wilfred Ibbotson
Sgt Wilfred Ibbotson

“He volunteered in the RAF and was selected as rear gunner on a Lancaster Bomber piloted by Melvin ‘Dinghy’ Young DFC, call sign AJ-A, 617 Squadron.

"They successfully destroyed the Mohne Dam, shortening the Second World War, but were tragically killed a few hundred yards from safety on their return journey.”

It would be a 20” diameter plaque with a 617 Squadron badge at the top, made of cast LM6 aluminium.

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In a heritage statement, applicant David Woodhead said: “The reason that I am looking to carry out this alteration is to commemorate Sgt Wilfred Ibbotson and bring the public’s attention towards his heroic deeds that were carried out, shortening the war and thus saving thousands of lives albeit at the cost of his own.

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Plaque unveiled for Horbury World War II torpedo boat and the lad from the town ...

“The proposed development of situating a small blue plaque on the gable end of the cottage is entirely in keeping with the very interesting historical nature of the village and nearby war memorial.

"It is hoped that it will add value to the village from a tourism perspective and help to inspire/inform local residents upon the notable identity of a former inhabitant.”

In September this year a plaque went on display in Horbury to commemorate the week during World War II that the town came together to fund a torpedo boat – and the man who would serve on it.

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Horbury man, Able Seaman Herbert Ellis, joined a crew of seven on that boat that was paid for through the town’s fundraising in 1942.

The efforts included events and exhibitions, as well as a formal dinner dance in the town’s Primrose Hall and raised £70,000 – the equivalent of well over £2 million today.