TWO Merseyside servicemen who died when their plane crashed deep in the Malaysian jungle more than 60 years ago were finally laid to rest.
Soldiers Oliver Goldsmith, from Neston, and Roy Wilson, from Birkenhead, both 21, were among 12 passengers and crew who died when the RAF Dakota went down during a mission in 1950.
Their bodies were buried near the crash site in a shallow grave where they lay until a team of Malaysian forensic archaeologists recovered the men’s remains in 2008.
Relatives of both men made an emotional 6,500 mile journey to see their relatives buried with honours at a war cemetery in Kuala Lumpur.
Grandfather-of-three Barry Wilson, 64, who lives in Spital, was presented with the Elizabeth Cross at the ceremony in recognition of his brother’s sacrifice.
He 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, whose half-brother attended the burial ceremony, and Mr Wilson were Royal Army Service Corps despatchers when UK forces were sent to the country to fight against Communist insurgents in a conflict known as the Malayan Emergency. The plane from 52 Squadron had been dropping smoke markers near Kempong Jendera to help Lincoln bombers pinpoint Communist camps, but it lost power during its second run and plummeted into a ravine.
A rescue party reached the crash site in early September 1950 after a nine day journey on foot to discover all 12 had died.
The bodies were buried near the crash site in a shallow grave because the difficult terrain and prevailing security situation placed the rescue party at severe risk of attack.
In November 2008 a 150-strong team of Malaysian military, police and specialist forensic archaeologists returned to the site.
Following a challenging and difficult expedition, analysis later confirmed the remains they found as being members of the crew and passengers of the Dakota.
The men were buried with military honours at the Cheras Road Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in Kuala Lumpur last week.
Relatives were presented with the Elizabeth Cross in recognition of their loss and sacrifice.
The families of the soldiers were found as a result of an extensive search for surviving next of kin by the UK Ministry of Defence’s historic casework team.