My visit to the memorial

<< Returning to Ljubljana: 50 years on.


The memorial at Brnik

Visit to the memorial: around 10:20 am on Thursday 22nd June 2017.

Before we left for the airport on Thursday 22nd June 2017 we went to a nearby florists shop in Ljubljana  where the florist made up a beautiful bouquet.

We travelled to the Airport where we met with Brigita who drove us to the site of the memorial. This was a difficult and solemn occasion. The memorial is beautiful: simple and extremely appropriate. Brigita was very unobtrusive and allowed me all the time I needed for personal contemplation.

I laid the flowers together with the simple card that I had written.

It is no more than a few score metres from the site of the crash and, it would seem that this area of the forest has not regrown completely. It was a beautiful day and the backdrop of the Austrian Alps was stunning.

The site, although only a few kilometres from the airport, seemed quite isolated. I tried to imagine the awful scene that had unfolded.

I tried to imagine how rescue vehicles could reach and leave.

I tried to imagine how my mother had dragged me away from the immediate crash site to where we were eventually found by an ambulance that was returning to Ljubljana.

I tried to imagine the people of Brnik who came out to the site to offer help.


The Museum of Contemporary History >>

7 thoughts on “My visit to the memorial

  1. Hi. I was walking with my wife through Acklam cemetery and found a gravestone with the names of a family that unfortunately passed away in that air disaster. Would you like me to take a picture and send it so it can be added to your post in memory of the deceased?
    Kind regards
    Paul and Lynda Wilson

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    1. Dear Paul,

      I have just come across your post and don’t think that I have responded to you. This is most thoughtless of me. I would be most interested to receive a photo of the gravestone. It is very kind of you to offere.

      Very best wishes,
      Michael

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    2. Hi Paul,
      I believe you are referring to my brother and his wife’s grave. Geoffrey and Audrey Brown. It still hurts, not sure if I should send this. I was searching to see if there is a memorial, maybe a photo. Regards Vic Brown

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      1. Hello Vic,
        I quite understand your feelings. My cousins Bill and Teri visited the Ljubljana memorial in 2017 and found it really, really difficult.

        I have been through the only list of passengers that I could find from a Daily Telegraph newspaper clipping dated 1st September 1966. There are two people named Brown listed from Middlesborough: Mr G Brown and Mrs A Brown. It shows that Mr G Brown survived but Mrs A Brown died. I’m not sure if this is an accurate record.

        I hope that you find the record of the memorial to them.

        Very best wishes,
        Michael Gatford

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      2. Hi Vic.
        I was looking through my late mums photos and came across a photo of your brother and Audrey. They must have been friends. I looked up the crash and it led me to here. My mum was Wilma Bate nee Abley

        Julia

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      3. Hello Julia,

        It seems strange to me about the various connections that have been made by people who have read the blog. I wish I had done this sooner as the technology has been around for a good few years now. I was only spurred onto writing the blog because of my discovery of the article by Brigita Zorec about the memorial that had been constructed and the service conducted in 2016.

        There must have been people who are no longer alive who would have been able to connect with all this, your mother for example. It is sometimes difficult to think and write about it but it is also harder to ignore it all.

        Thanks you for taking the time to make a comment and for contacting Vic.

        Very best wishes,

        Michael

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  2. Hello Mike,
    Sadly they were both killed. I don’t know remember if I mentioned that they were on their honeymoon . It was not confirmed for about three days from memory. Did you get any counselling ?
    Can only write to you when the mood is right.
    Kind regards Vic

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