At the turn of the last century, one Charlie Plank, whose father had immigrated from Bristol (England), found himself trying to make a living out of farming near Red Deer, in Alberta, Canada. He married a young American seamstress, Mabel. They had five children (in the photograph); Charlie, Lester, Bill, Bob and Phyllis. When the second world war broke out Charlie, the oldest, was swift to volunteer. Lester couldn’t wait to do the same. On 4 July 1941 he got his chance, enrolling at Edmonton with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He had just turned 19. He went through a year’s training and on 26th September 1942 embarked for England. On 25th February 1943, he was assigned to 420 Squadron, No 6 Group, as a bomb aimer, his Wellington bomber flying out of  Middleton St George. On 17 April 1943, less than two months later, Lester’s plane was shot down over Belgium and he died and was buried in a small Ardennes village cemetery. Charlie survived the war, but through confusion over place names the Plank family were never able to track down where Lester had been buried. And then, through a set of fortuitous coincidences, in early 1993 I was able to reconnect the Plank family with their lost brother (Charlie and Mabel, sadly, passed away in the 1970s). On 17 April 1993 Charlie, Bill, Bob and Phyllis crossed the Atlantic and came to the Ardennes to attend a commemorative ceremony. Charlie was by then very old and ailing and much of the organisation was undertaken by the middle brother, Bill. And that was how I came to know a good man who has just, sadly, passed away. Among his many legacies was the creation of a trust fund, to the memory of his fallen brother, for the education of children in the village where Lester is buried. Bill, by inclination a globetrotter, came back to Belgium several times and struck up a friendship with a local man whose life had become tragically intertwined with Lester’s death, but that story will have to be for another post. I met Bill by chance, but it was a privilege and a pleasure to have known him.