Avro Anson MG356

Bennanbrack, Dumfries & Galloway













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: An Avro 652A T21 Anson (WD413 / G-VROE) of Air Atlantique Classic Flight at Hullavington Airfield, Wiltshire, England.


RAF Hullavington


Presevered Avro Anson at Air Atlantique Classic Flight


Photo: 2005. Adrian Pingstone (Arpingstone). Released by the author to the public domain.






Aircraft Type and Background


RAF Avro Anson / MG356



Aircraft Type Nickname: Faithful Annie.



The Avro Anson was an adaption of the civilian Avro 652 in use by Imperial Airways.


The Anson was the first aircraft in RAF service to be equipped with a retractable undercarriage. The aircraft type was flown initially by No. 48 Squadron of RAF Coastal Command.


The Anson was used for coastal reconnaissance and maritime patrols. Latterly, it was used for crew training, light transport, and communications purposes. Among crew members, however, the Anson was considered to be a cold, draughty, and very noise aircraft.


Although the Anson was a solidly-built and reliable aircraft, it was nevertheless slow and vulnerable to attack. For this and other reasons, it was inevitable that the Anson would be replacedas indeed it was, with the Lockheed Hudson bomber.


Later generations of Ansons (the Anson C.19 series) remained in use with the RAF until 1968.


Usually, Mark I Ansons were powered by two Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah radial engines. Occasionally, however, other types would be substituted. The Anson had a top speed of about 188 mph (164 knots or 303 km/h) at 7,000ft (2,100m).






Aircraft Accident Details


Edward Gresswell known as "Teddy" was a Wireless Operator with Coastal Command stationed at Wigtownshire, and was one of the crew flying this Anson aircraft. The date of his death was 21st July 1944. He was 19.


It it is believed that the Anson had been on a Navex (Navigational Exercise) from RAF West Freugh airfield, near Stranraer. However, while the plane and the crew were returning home, the aircraft crashed into a mountain (Bennanbrack), not far from Lamachan Hill, 9.6km (c. 6 miles) N of Newton Stewart, Scotland. All on board were killed.


The navigator was new and he made a mistake, There were so many mountains in Scotland and he mistook the airfield. He, Teddy, and three others lost their lives. The crew had apparently not been together for very long. Three were Australian and the other two were British.






Aircraft Crew Casualties


Those who lost their lives in this tragic accident were:

Sgt Edward Hugh Patrick Cresswell was buried at Paignton, Devon, where his parents also were laid to rest.






Crash Site Photos


BELOW: Looking W from Bennanbrack toward Lamachan Hill in Dumfries and Galloway, the patch of scarred ground in the photo, indicated by the arrow, shows clearly the location of Avro Anson MG356 crash site. (See under Crash Date/Site above right for GPS and OS grid references.)


anson mg356 crash site on bennanbrack


Photo: © 2006 Steve White



BELOW: Landing gear strut and hub, with some other fragmented wreckage.


anson mg356 landing gear wreckage


Photo: © 2006 Steve White



BELOW: Wreckage includes an oxygen or fire extinguisher bottle (near back of pile), and other smaller pieces of equipment.


oxygen or fire extinguisher bottle among wreckage


Photo: © 2006 Steve White






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Crash Date / Site



Accident Date: 21 Jul 1944


Accident Site:

Bennanbrack (685m)

(Beinn an breaghad)


Region: Dumfries and Galloway (SE of Loch Trool)


Nearest town or village:



Nearest large towns:

Girvan (NW) or Newton Stewart (S) 


OS Grid Ref. 77 / NX 440 775


GPS Ref. NX 44050 77372


Present Condition: Some wreckage, including landing gear sections, remain onsite at GPS ref. provided above. It is believed that other parts not recovered by the RAF have been removed unofficially from the site over the years.




Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: MG356


Operator: RAF (4 Observer Advanced Flying Unit (4 OAFU))


Operating Base: RAF West Freugh


Base Location: West Freugh, 8km (c. 5 miles) SE of Stranraer, Scotland.


Current Airport Status: Reserved by RAF. May still be used for RAF / NATO exercises.


Current Airport Name:  West Freugh QinetiQ / RADARSTAT; Canadian operated satellite ground tracking station.




Related Links


Articles and photos of the Avro Anson type are available at the following sites:

Lancaster Museum

North East Aircraft Museum (NEAM)

Scramble (Dutch Aviation Society)


Warbird Alley




Hill Walking Links


(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)

WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)

Walking Scotland's Mountains



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Kayak Scotland (Sea Kayaking in Scotland)

Kayaking at Active Scotland (Various venues)

Sea Kayak Scotland


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H and I Adventures (Mountain bike holidays in Scotland).

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Mountain Biking (Sport Scotland, Glenmore Lodge).

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Scotland Cycle Routes.

Trail Scotland (Scotland's mountain bike community).



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Abseiling in Perthshire

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Mountain Sports Courses and Paddle Sports Courses at Glenmore Lodge

Rock Climbing at Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre (Skills Courses and Qualifications Courses)

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UKClimbing.com (UKC) (Includes Abseiling / Rappelling)


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Gairloch Trekking Centre (Pony Trekking in the Scottish Highlands)

Pony and Quad Treks (North Wales)

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Trekking Britain

Walking and Hiking



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