The Airman’s Grave, Ashdown Forest: A touching and little-known memorial to victims of war and fate

A wartime tragedy in East Sussex's Ashdown Forest is among our Secret Britain picks, as chosen by Annunciata Elwes.

In the early hours of July 31, 1941, a Wellington MK2 bomber crashed on a hillside in the Ashdown Forest. It was part of a 100-plane raid to Cologne in terrible weather and engine trouble forced the six young men in its crew to turn back; they were all killed.

Nobody is buried at Airman’s Grave, but a touching and little-known stone enclosure stands at the site of the crash. There are flowers planted within its walls, with a memorial plaque and the occasional offering from local children, all surrounded by grazing livestock.

An uphill walk from here, through heathland alive with purple heather and yellow gorse in summer, affords views over the Low Weald.

See more of Secret Britain