TWO families from Wirral will be making an emotional 6,500 mile journey to see their relatives buried with military honours.
Soldiers Oliver Goldsmith, 21, from Neston, and Roy Wilson, from Birkenhead, 21, lost their lives when their plane crashed deep inside the Malaysian jungle during a conflict called the Malayan Emergency in 1950.
A rescue party reached the crash site on foot nine days later but all 12 crew and passengers had died and they were buried in a shallow grave.
Now 61 years later, following an expedition to the crash site in 2008, the families of those who died on board RAF Dakota KN630 will see them buried in their final resting place in the Cheras Road Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in Kuala Lumpur.
Relatives will also be presented with the Elizabeth Cross in recognition of their loss and sacrifice.
Mr Goldsmith’s cousin Alf Done, 69, who lives with his wife Pat, 63, in Neston, said he found out about the MoD wanting to find families of army personnel involved in the Dakota crash in the Wirral News.
He added: “I was only eight or nine. My granny brought him up. He was Oliver Arthur Goldsmith but everyone called him Arthur. Granny loved Arthur and was brokenhearted when he died.
“I do feel proud of him and proud to represent the family because at the end of the day he was in the army and he was doing his job.”
Mr Wilson’s family was also traced by the MOD, grandfather-of-three Barry Wilson, 64, who lives in Spital, said: “I was only three when he died.
“It’s nice that there’s going to be something official rather than just lost in Malaysia.”
Mr Goldsmith and Mr Wilson were both Royal Army Service Corps army despatchers.
Investigations revealed that the Dakota suffered catastrophic engine failure and crashed into a ravine during a “target marking” mission for bombers. After representations were made to the Malaysian authorities, an 150-strong expedition went back and recovered the bodies.
The remains of the crew and passengers will be buried in a single grave on March 15.