Commemorating the Lost
The fire on H M Airship R101 caused 48 of the 54 people on board to lose their lives. The bodies of the victims were brought back to London on 7th October and on 10th October the 48 coffins, each draped in a Union Jack, lay in state in Westminster Hall while thousands of people filed past. On the same day, a Memorial Service was held at St Paul's Cathedral, attended by HRH The Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister, with a Requiem Mass taking place at Westminster Cathedral.
On Saturday, 11th October, the victims were taken through crowded streets to Euston Station where a special train was waiting to convey them to Bedford. That afternoon, the 48 dead of the R101 were laid to rest in a mass grave at the parish church of St Mary, Cardington, where the RAF ensign flown from the tail of the R101 remains on display to this day.
A brass plaque was laid on the floor of Westminster Hall to mark the lying-in-state in November 2014.