FOR one person in the crowds who gathered at Bexleyheath’s war memorial on Remembrance Sunday it was a new experience.

At last Douglas Rutherford-Browne was able to commemorate his dead brother’s name on the memorial in his home town.

Mr Rutherford-Brown, 82, travelled from his Croydon home to attend a Bexleyheath service of remembrance and wreath laying for the first time since his brother Anthony’s death in January 1944.

It was just two weeks before Armistice Day on November 11 this year, Anthony’s name was finally added to a war memorial.

Mr Rutherford-Browne explained: “Anthony was four years older than me and he volunteered to join the RAF in 1941, shortly after the Second World War broke out.”

The family were living in Brampton Road, Bexleyheath.

Anthony became a wireless operator on Lancaster bombers with 155 Squadron based in Lincolnshire.

He had flown 25 missions and had only five more to complete before being stood down from the front line.

On January 27 1944 Anthony set off with his air crew on a bombing raid over Berlin, but never returned.

The family was told the plane had disappeared on the mission and for years the MoD said it could give them no other information.

The family thought the plane had probably crashed in a field in Germany Before the end of the war, the family had moved from Bexley and Mr Rutherford-Browne says there was no one to ask for his brother’s name to be put on the Bexleyheath memorial.

But it was his sister’s son-in-law who discovered the truth just two months ago, using the internet.

Anthony’s plane had made it back from Berlin as far as the North Sea, but was obviously damaged.

He sent an SOS message to one of the RAF bases in Lincolnshire, which scrambled air sea rescue which failed to find the plane’s crew.

The family then contacted Bexley Council to find out if Anthony’s name was on the Bexleyheath memorial and if it could be added.

Coincidently, it was just after the memorial plaques had been stolen from the Oaklands Road memorial, so when the replacement plaques were made two weeks ago, Anthony’s name was finally added.