WW2 hero honoured in Castleford

​Date: 22/06/2016
Ref: PR 8265

A Castleford road has been named after an heroic WW2 pilot, who sacrificed his life to save the Cutsyke community in 1941.

Bruce Smeaton Way was officially named by Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, along with children from Acton Pastures Primary (J&I) School and community champion, Rheta Davison MBE, who requested the honour for Sgt Bruce Smeaton.

Sgt Smeaton RAFVR (1160948) died aged 22, in the early hours of the morning on 10 May 1941, when his plane crashed in a small field near Cutsyke in Castleford. The plane suffered engine failure and Sgt Smeaton had radioed his base to say he was baling out. However, it is believed he then realised he was flying over houses so he attempted to direct the plane away.

Shortly after his death a memorial trophy in his name was presented to Cutsyke School and was awarded to pupils in recognition of outstanding attendance. When Cutsyke School closed, the trophy was passed on to Acton Pastures School and is still awarded every year.

Cllr Box CBE said: "I am very pleased that we are able to honour Sgt Smeaton in this way and ensure his name and legacy lives on in the Castleford community.

"As we approach Armed Forces Day this serves to remind us of the sacrifices and outstanding contribution our armed forces make to this country, now and in the past."

Rheta Davison MBE said: "This was about paying tribute to a young man who was faced with making the decision which saving so many ended up with him loosening his life.

"Bruce Smeaton was a hero, and having the road named after him was the best accolade anyone could give him."

The road, now called Bruce Smeaton Way, has been open for several years and although it had been referred to as the Glasshoughton Coalfields Link Road, it had never formally been named until now.

Along with the children from Acton Pastures Primary (J&I) School, Cllr Box and Ms Davison were joined at the official naming ceremony by Flt Lt Robert Moore from RAF Linton-on-Ouse, John Booth former caretaker at Cutsyke School, Cllr Jackie Speight and a representative from Asda, who donated refreshments for the event.