On 25 October 1944 a twin-engine Albermarle bomber V1755 took off from RAF Keevil near Trowbridge with a glider on tow. FltSgt Thomas Newton was the pilot and Sgt John Wilson was his navigator.
As the two aircraft approached Alton Barnes, the glider lost sight of the Albermarle and began to overtake it, pulling its tail up to a critical angle. The towrope broke and the glider recovered safely to Alton Barnes airfield. The Albermarle dived into the ground at a 70 degree angle killing both crew members on impact.
On 25 October 1997, fifty-three years to the day, a memorial cairn was dedicated and unveiled at the crash site.
Relatives and friends of the crewmen attended, as did Royal Air Force officers from RAF Lyneham, Michael Ancram QC MP, and local residents. The stone was unveiled by the pilot's best friend and the navigator's brother. The ceremony was conducted by the RAF padre, and was concluded by an RAF trumpeter playing "Last Post" and a low-level fly-past by an RAF C130 Hercules. The memorial stands alongside the towpath of the Kennet & Avon canal at O.S. 173/SU107613