An author whose brother died in a plane crash in Norway in 1961 has written a book to investigate the tragedy, with royalties donated to charities including Sightsavers.
Rosalind Jones’s brother Quentin Green, then just 13 years old, was one of 34 schoolboys from Lanfranc school in Croydon who died when the plane in which they were travelling crashed near Sola airport in southern Norway. Two schoolmasters and the three crew members from the plane, codenamed Papa Mike, also died. At the time it was Norway’s worst air disaster. Yet the cause of the crash was never established.
After visiting Norway several times, including a trip with her family in 1987, Rosalind vowed to find out what actually happened. Her book, ‘The Papa Mike Air Crash Mystery’, gathers information from the National Archives in London and the Norwegian Archives in Oslo, alongside newspaper articles, interviews and personal memories. However, it’s left to the reader to make their own decision as to the cause of the crash.
Rosalind decided to donate some of the royalties from the book to Sightsavers, having supported the organisation for many years. She lost the use of one eye 30 years ago through complications with multiple sclerosis, and has since raised money to fund eye camps in developing countries.
“In writing this book, my one ‘good’ eye has taken an enormous strain,” said Rosalind. “So when I was going screwy-eyed reading old fuzzy grey documents on my computer for hours every day, I decided that some money from the profits must go to Sightsavers.
“Forty years ago I raised funds by selling Avon cosmetics to fund eye camps. Later I started a charity shop at the college where I taught, and this helped to fund various Sightsavers projects. Back in those days I never thought that I would one day, in retirement, I would write a book to help fundraise.”
For more information about the tragedy, or to order a copy of the book, visit www.lanfranc-holtaheia.co.uk.