[ Sgt Michael Willetts & Sgt Walter Beard ]

300 Troop, 131 Independent Parachute Squadron. 
Royal Engineers Territorial Army

Cromwell Lock ... River Trent in Nottinghamshire September 28th 1975

[ Cap Badge ]

[ 2 Para ]

[ 2 Para ]

[ 3 Para ]

[ 4 Para ]

Roll of Honour:


The ten men from 300 Troop 131 Independent Parachute Squadron of the Royal Engineers Territorial Army. Were on an 80-mile night navigation exercise on the River Trent, on the 28th September 1975. During the force six gale and the river in full flood, the assault boat that they were part of was swept over the weir, (Known locally as the Devils Cauldrin), of the eleven soldiers on board ten were drowned, one soldier was saved after clinging onto the assault boat for an hour, It was the largest peace time tragedy in the squadrons history. The scene of this tragedy is marked by a piece of granite bearing the names of those young men who lost their lives that terrible night nearly thirty years ago. read more here

[ cromwell-lock ]

[ RE Cap Badge ]

Special thanks to Patrick Martin who forwarded the photo to me ... above

Sapper Raymond Buchanan. Aged 20 
Sapper Norman Bennet. Aged 29 
Sapper James Black. Aged 18 
Sapper Stuart Evenden. Aged 22 
Sapper Peter Evenden. Aged 19 
Sapper Ian Mercer. Aged 17 
Sapper Alexander O’Brien. Aged 18 
Sapper Terry Smith. Aged 20 
Sapper Ronald Temprell. Aged 26 
Sapper Joseph Walker. Aged 21

[ Sapper Norman Bennet. Aged 29  ]


Sapper Norman Bennet. Aged 29 

I received this via email on: Mon 26/09/2005 ... I have sent a few photos that I took at Cromwell Lock/Weir yesterday. (Sunday 25th September 2005)

The occasion was a Remembrance Service by The Newark Branch of The Parachute Regimental Association to the 10 Soldiers that lost their lives there on 28-9-75. Newark Town Brass Band provided the music for the service. Ex PC Albert Walker was the Officer that played a major part in rescuing the only surviving soldier, and was present yesterday as a guest. Albert was a well known figure in Newark in those days and was always called upon when there was serious trouble in town. I remember the date of the tragedy so well as I had just celebrated my 34th birthday, In fact it was my 64th birthday yesterday, I hope you like the few photos I have sent, it was hard to choose which to send because I took nearly 200 in all. I am very impressed with your website, it's a fitting tribute to our fantastic armed services.
All the very best,
David Burton. To contact David Please click here

[ Cromwell Lock/Weir ]

[ RIP ]

[ Remembrance Service by The Newark Branch of The Parachute Regimental Association ]

R.A.F.A. Club.
London Road Car Park