The Lanfranc Boys was written to commemorate all those who died when Papa Mike crashed into Holtaheia, a mountain in Strand, near Stavanger in Rogaland, Norway. More than 100 people helped contribute to the book by giving their memories from that time of the friends or relative they had lost. The result was that all the victims were recalled alive and enjoying life before the fateful day of August 9th. 1961. The day of the tragedy is recorded in as much detail as the author knew at the time; the delay at London Airport, the flight, and the crash. The search, then aftermath of the crash, the rescue operation, the repatriation and eventual funeral are all chronicled and illustrated with photographs. Two years during the life of Croydon’s Lanfranc Secondary Modern School (now renamed Archbishop Lanfranc Academy) are recorded. The vibrancy of this popular school also was brought back to life. Friends and relatives added their personal remembrances, whilst poems, and song lyrics, from strangers moved to write their feelings, are also included.
The Lanfranc Boysis a special work of social history because it also records the unique event of two communities, on either side of the North Sea, brought together by fate, the one sharing the other’s grief and becoming intimately involved in a tragedy that they would never forget. And which would have lasting effects on them too.