I wanted to reach out to you to pass on our most sincere condolences regarding the passing of your Mother back in March of this year. In fact, we (over here in Montreal/Magog) had not heard of this terrible news until I was on the internet tonight trying to locate your Mother. As a result of my search, I came across her obituary as well as your website. Note that I last spoke to Mother in 2009 when I was researching the story of Sherman (Harold) Peabody’s disappearance on July 29th, 1944 when his Lancaster was shot down over France. At that time (2009), I called your Mother to connect her with the last living survivor of this crash: a man named R.L. Fiddick who was the navigator on this flight. As it turned out, Mr. Fiddick lived less than 2.5 kilometers from where your Mother lived on Beach Drive. She then went down to meet with Mr. Fiddick and they apparently had a good discussion. Unfortunately, I never did re-connect with your Mother and seriously regret this fact.
Just to put me and my brother Robert (copied on this email) into a family context: we are the sons (1960 and 1959 respectively) of Fleda (Bunny) Peck. By the way, your Mom was a bridesmaid at my parents wedding in 1940. Sherman was also an usher at the same event. Her mother was Mary Hamilton Peabody who was born in Mansonville in 1896 and who’s father was James Albert Peabody. Our Mom passed away in 2006 at the age of 89 years. Cousins of my grandmother and Mother were Harold and Earl Peabody whom Robert and I knew well. Earl’s cottage was right next door to that of my grandmothers on Lake Memphremagog. In fact, I currently live on the cottage property since building a new house on the land in 2000. Earl’s old cedar log cottage is still intact and owned by the daughter of a well known Quebec artist (Edmund Alleyn). They have taken excellent care of the place since Gordon Peabody sold it to them in 1976. I also recollect your Mom coming down to Magog at least 10+ years ago. She knocked on my door as she had hoped to go and visit Earl’s old place. I took her over and introduced her to the Alleyns who gave her a tour. I think she was quite pleased…
Anyway, long story short is that Robert and I wanted to reach out to you to pass on our condolences for the recent passing of your Mother. Secondly we would hope that if you are planning any commemorative service for her back here in Quebec this summer, we would like to attend if this is acceptable to you and provided the timing works for us. Otherwise it would simply be good to be connected to you as we do have common family roots via the Peabody clan. In fact, I saw the information on the Peabody family history (and a few shots of Sherman) on your website. I also was very interested to learn about the Richardson clan via the information you have posted.
As well, Robert and I would also like to share with you some other very interesting facts that we have uncovered on Sherman. We are currently sponsoring two graduate students in the Department of History at Bishops University to look into the mystery underlining Sherman’s “disappearance”. As we have uncovered, Sherman did not die in the actual plane crash. He successfully parachuted out with his co-pilot, was captured but was then executed by a German patrol within the next 24 hours after being shot down. Fiddick was able to get taken in by the French resistance and made it back to England. Anyway, there is much more to the story than I can outline within this email. Note that when I called your Mother in 2009, it was to reveal to her that Sherman had been shot versus the story we always heard as kids: that he simply was never found…
I hope that what I have outlined above is of interest to you and we get connected in the next few days. Again, our most sincere condolences to you and your family on the passing of your Mom. She is the last of a very unique generation…
Jon and Robert Peck
Kench, Lillian B. Peacefully in her sleep, at Hampton Terrace Care Centre in Burlington, on Monday, March 12, 2007 at the age of 84 years. Beloved wife of the late Charlie Kench. Loving mother of Susie Dodge, Dottie Atkinson and Charlotte Berryman. Sadly missed by grandchildren Cindy, Sharon, Tracy, Frank, Wendy and Kerryan, and her nine great-grandchildren. Fondly remembered by all her family and friends. At Lillian’s request, cremation will take place. Family will receive visitors in the Ward Funeral Home, 109 Reynolds Street, Oakville, on Sunday, March 18, 2007 from 2:00 p.m. until Service of Remembrance in the Chapel at 3:00 p.m. If you wish, donations made to the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated by the family. The Globe and Mail, 2007-03-14
Whatever Happened to Sherman Peabody? Bishop’s, Nazis and a Strange Disappearance
Sherman Peabody of Sherbrooke was on the Bishop’s golf and hockey teams and a popular man on campus when World War II broke out. Leaving the school without finishing his degree, he became an RCAF Flying Officer and the pilot of a Lancaster heavy bomber.
On July 28, 1944 while taking part in a raid on Stuttgart, his plane was shot down over eastern France by a German night fighter. Two managed to parachute out, and three bodies were recovered at the crash site. That leaves two unaccounted for…
In 2016 the family of Sherman Peabody commissioned the History Department to find out the truth about his fate and that of his fellow crew member Flying Officer Doe. Over the past academic year three of our intrepid students have followed the trail of Sherman Peabody from the Old Library in McGreer, to National Archives in Ottawa, to the Public Record Office in London, to Cirey (pop. 48) in the Vosges Mountains of France. Their story connects a Bishop’s University student to Bomber Command, the French Resistance, SAS, the Gestapo’s war crimes… and to a small French village where the wartime crash of an RCAF plane still reverberates today.
On Tuesday, April 11 at 2.15 in Cleghorn Room Megan Whitworth and Sean Summerfield, two graduating History students, will be presenting their findings on the mystery of Sherman Peabody’s disappearance through a slide show and talk. ALL are welcome to attend.
Over 100 attended including Principal Michael Goldbloom
|Flying Officer Harold Sherman Peabody|
|this group is probably someone we should get in touch with – specializing in history of Sherman’s squadron https://www.facebook.com/No-622-Squadron-WWII-History-Page-784098965017373/?fref=nf
and a photo of his gravestone in Runnymede Memorial in Surrey UK. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=15260868&ref=acom
FIDDICK, Lew January 20, 1917 – November 14, 2016 Lew passed away peacefully in is 100th year after a brief illness. Born and raised in Cedar, BC, he is predeceased by 5 siblings; wife, Ethel and daughter, Maureen. Survived by sons, Larry (Judy), Rod (Denise); son-in-law, Drew; grandchildren, Catherine, Reid (Natalie), Erin (Tim), Kyla (Jason), Greg (Fiona), Brett (Emily), Holly (Bryn); great-grandchildren, Chloè, Sophie, Ben, Finley, Brittney, Adam. Graduating from Cedar School Lew worked as a logger in Nanaimo falling large trees by hand – he was still bucking and splitting wood in his 80’s. Lew was a WWII vet, joining the Air Force he became a bomber pilot posted to RAF Bomber Command Flying Lancasters. In 1943 – 1944 Lew flew 19 missions over Germany. In July 1944 while returning from a sortie over Stuggart he was shot down, parachuting behind enemy lines into France. Evading capture he was taken in and hidden by a French family who linked him with the Maquis and eventually with a group of SAS operatives. The next 3 months found Lew involved in sabatoge operations against German occupiers. SAS Captain Henry Druce and Lew crossed enemy lines taking sensitive information back to England which assisted advancing US troops. Lew was made an honorary SAS member for his war time contributions. After the war Lew became one of Canada’s first Federal Forest Rangers retiring after 35 years as Head Forest Ranger. In retirement he kept busy on his acre property in Gordon Head where he lived up to his last few days. A fine model as a parent, grandparent and gentleman. A big thank you to his caregiver, Joyce for making it possible for Lew to remain at home. Thanks to the staff on 8N RJH and Dr. J. Maskey for the wonderful care and support. In January the family will be celebrating Lew’s life on what would be his 100th birthday.
Gerald Peabody MacKay