A MEMORIAL to lost Second World War scientists and airmen, including radar pioneer Alan Blumlein, will be unveiled tomorrow.

The tribute has been largely funded by Hereford Times readers, who responded to our campaign to honour a largely unsung company of men who perished on Herefordshire soil.

They and others contributed a magnificent £5,000 in a little over two months to our Hereford Times Blumlein Memorial Appeal.

Their generosity means we were able to fund a permanent memorial to Blumlein, an overlooked war hero whose contribution to radar technology was key to the Allies’ victory over Nazi Germany.

He had been in a Halifax bomber that had been converted into a flying laboratory for tests on top-secret radar technology called H2S when it caught fire at 15,000ft and plunged to earth.

Blumlein and all the other 10 passengers and crew, including five other scientists, were killed when the aircraft crashed on the banks of the River Wye at Welsh Bicknor, Herefordshire, in 1942.

Blumlein’s immense contribution to the war effort, as well as his development of stereo sound and other technical innovations, was hushed up after his death on the orders of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

He perhaps felt the loss of such an important scientist would give succour to the Nazis as they plotted their conquest of Europe because they knew of his work.

So while the contributions of other Second World War boffins such as Alan Turing – who helped crack the Nazis’ Enigma code – and Sir Bernard Lovell, the H2S radar project leader, have been lauded, Blumlein’s role has been largely overlooked.

The Hereford Times appealed to readers to help us correct this injustice and pay tribute to his memory, and the others who died with him. Our appeal was spearheaded by Garth Lawson, the paper’s walks writer, who has long believed a tribute to Blumlein was overdue.

Tomorrow’s ceremony will unveil a memorial in the form of a metal plaque mounted on a plinth near a riverside path overlooking the site of the tragedy.

Guests will include Dave Scaysbrook, a forensic scientist who is an expert on the history of the crash in which the men died.

Jerome Vaughan, of the Courtfield estate, who has generously allowed the memorial to be placed on his land, will also be there.

Mike Phillips, the son of the flight’s co-pilot, will deliver a speech. Seven of his family are attending from different parts of the world.

Blumlein’s son Simon will offer some personal reflections. He, his brother, David, and Roger Lovell, son of Sir Bernard Lovell, and Mr Phillips will then unveil the memorial.

The names of the dead will be read out and the memorial blessed. Buglers will mark the end of the ceremony.