Ceremony held for young RAF Sergeant executed in WWII after bracelet found in concentration camp ash pit

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Images show Paul Habgood (right) and the Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston (left) exchanging the bracelet at a ceremony held at St Clement Danes Church in London. Photographer: SAC Connor Tierney RAF - UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021

The family of World War Two Lancaster bomber Sgt Freddie Habgood, have been reunited with his bracelet 74 years after it rose to the surface of a concentration camp ash pit in France.

Sergeant Frederic Harold Habgood had been part of a Lancaster bomber crew that was shot down on 29th July 1944. 

Despite surviving the crash, Sgt Habgood was betrayed by a local woman to the Gestapo. On July 31 he was taken to the nearby Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp and immediately hanged and then cremated. He was just 21 years old.

Over 74 years later Freddie’s bracelet was spotted in the soil by a local girl who was watering the flowers that now grow in the ash pit.

Images show Edward Corrigan, Louise Jefferson, Paul Habgood and Marilyn Corrigan. The Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston leading a ceremony for an RAF Sergeant who died in World War 2. Photographer: SAC Connor Tierney RAF – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021

The bracelet was given to the Sergeant Habgood’s nephew, Paul Habgood and niece, Marilyn Corrigan, who decided to give it to the RAF for safekeeping.

The family handed the bracelet to the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston and it was placed in a commemorative cabinet at St Clement Danes Church in London. 

Watch the Telegraph’s video about Freddie’s story:

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