Finders help give closure to the family of WW2 airman

During a mission to protect Russian ships against Nazi attack, Edmund Seymour Burke and his co-pilot James Beardsley were shot down near Norway and despite two men being seen getting into a dingy their fate was unknown, as mentioned in an article by Irish Central.

That was until 2017 when a Russian journalist told the British Consulate in Moscow that there were two unidentified graves that belonged to ‘two unknown English airmen’ on the Rybachy Peninsula in Northern Russia.

The Consulate and Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) decided to research into who these graves belonged to and concluded they had to be Edmund Burke and James Beardsley.  As noted in the article, it would appear the two pilots got into their dingy and drifted from the Norway coast to Rybachy where they sadly succumbed to hypothermia; Nomadic travelers found the men’s dead bodies in the dingy when it washed ashore.

The Ministry of Defence and JCCC decided to hold a re-dedication ceremony at Lee-on-Solent in the south of England in 2017 to commemorate the two airmen.  However, they did not know if Burke and Beardsley had any descendants that could attend.

As Burke had been born in Dublin, they placed an ad in the local paper, Dublin People, and it was then broadcast on the Ryan Tubridy Show, a popular morning radio show. This was when Finders International stepped in.

Maeve Mullin, a senior researcher at Finders, located Robbie Fry, a paternal relative of Burke. Fry then was able to tell Burke’s three first cousins meaning they could attend the re-dedication service in England. Another relative, Andrew Furlong, was unable to attend the ceremony in England but was able to visit the Vaida Bay Military Cemetery on the Rybachy Peninsula where Burke and Beardsley are buried for a special dedication ceremony.

Thanks to the work of the Finders International, the Consulate and the JCCC, the Burke family finally have the closure they wanted for so long.

You can read the full article here.