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COMMEMORATING ISLE OF WIGHT’S TED PRICE ON 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF DAKOTA PLANE CRASH

Wpb7bdaf50 0660 years ago today (Friday), farm worker Edwin Llewellyn Price saved 5 lives by dragging survivors from the wreckage of a burning plane on St Boniface Down.

On a foggy afternoon on Sunday 6th May 1962, Ted Price was cutting bean sticks on the southern slope of the hillside below the Radar Station on St Boniface Down, Ventnor. Suddenly, a huge airliner burst through the mist, hitting the hill yards from where he had been standing.

Ted knew at once that this was a major incident and he was the only person able to help. The farm worker immediately climbed the 8ft security fence around the radar station and ran into the wreckage of the stricken aircraft, which was now engulfed in flames.

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The stricken Channel Airways plane that hit St Boniface Down on 7th May 1962

Despite the personal danger he faced, Ted made 7 trips into the plane’s burning fuselage to carry survivors to safety. The Wroxall man continued his rescue mission even when the fuel tanks had begun to explode.

Having assisted as many as could be helped, Ted climbed back over the fence to raise the alarm with a group of radio amateurs on a communications exercise on the downland. When the emergency services arrived he went home, reeking of smoke and aviation fuel but revealing nothing about what had happened.

Ted Price
Ted Price: (Photo Trevor Ryder)

Ted was eventually tracked down and received official commendation for his act of bravery. However, he shunned publicity and sought neither recognition nor praise for his actions. He never accepted that he had performed a heroic act, claiming that anyone would have done the same in similar circumstances.

Edwin Llewellyn Price died at home in Wroxall in March 2007. He is buried at Wroxall Cemetery where his grave overlooks St Boniface Down, the spot in which he repeatedly risked his life so 5 strangers could keep theirs.

A survivor of the plane crash said at Ted’s memorial service:

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“I won’t say I’m glad to be here and, in many ways, I would rather not be, but I and my fellow passengers were able to come for two reasons – the Grace of God – and Ted Price.”

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JOHN VICTOR LANGLEY
JOHN VICTOR LANGLEY
12 days ago

A small group assembled today to remember those who lost their lives, those who survived and those whose bravery ensured that loss of life that day was minimised. Ventnor Fire and Rescue team turned up with a fire appliance in memory of colleagues 60years ago today who attended the disaster above Ventnor town. A scale model of the aircraft was on site today and will appear later this year as an exhibit at the Wight Aviation Museum at Sandown Airport.

Tracy Vaughan
Tracy Vaughan
12 days ago

Ted was our nan and grandads neighbour for many years in Wroxall

rodney burt
rodney burt
12 days ago

I didn’t know ted but if i had it would have been a privilege

Paul
Paul
12 days ago

What a wonderful tale of heroism…Still inspiring to this day. It was wonderful that the occasion was so aptly marked..He will never be forgotten.

 

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