FAMILY members of the brave crew of a Lancaster bomber which crashed in Colchester are set to attend a special service to mark 75 years since the servicemen died.

Mourners will gather at the memorial site, located near Safestore in Ipswich Road, Colchester, to mark the special anniversary of the Lancaster UM-K2 crash.

This year the service will take on extra meaning as David Seaborn, one of several school boys who visited the crash site just after it happened, passed away last month.

Organiser Chris Stanfield said Mr Seaborn's recollections had been vital to the establishment of a memorial at the site.

"The crew were just moments way from landing at Boxted, an American fighter station, when they came down on the periphery of the airfield at Severalls," he said.

"There were three Canadians and four British Officers in the crew.

"The aircraft had been attacked near Diss on its return to Wickenby, Lincoln at 4am. A German intruder took them by surprise.

"The Tail Gunner is thought to have been killed at this point.

"When the Lancaster came to Colchester it was on fire and flying low at rooftop height."

The plane is believed to have circled the area above what is now the Ardleigh Crown restaurant a few times before heading towards Severalls Industrial Estate over Bullock Wood.

Mr Stanfield continued: "When it turned right towards the airfield it came down.

"It is believed the Americans on the airfield lit the runway to help the Pilot or whoever was flying the plane.

"By doing this they exposed the airfield to attack. It was a foggy morning and the Americans did all they could to help."

The service, which several family members of the crew are set to attend, will last between 15 and 20 minutes during a minutes silence will be observed.

The Boxted Silver Band conductor Victoria Steinitz and her coronet player Yo Burgess will perform.

Lay Preacher Michael Foster, of West Berholt, will lead the service, which starts at 11am on Sunday, April 28.

Members of the public are welcome to attend.