Australian TV crews in March

Alan Hocking and Mike Cornwell being interviewed and, insert, the cameraman taking part of the Hocking display.
Alan Hocking and Mike Cornwell being interviewed and, insert, the cameraman taking part of the Hocking display.

An Australian film crew has been in Fenland covering the story of a Second World War hero.

Camera crews from Channel 9 have been in March following the story of heroic pilot Jim Hocking, who saved the town from devastation.

In July 1944, Jim steered his stricken Sterling bomber away from the town before crashing in fields in Knights End.

In recognition of his bravery, the Australian Government has recently awarded him the Star of Courage – the second highest gallantry honour in the country for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.

Jim’s brother Alan, with his wife Helen, were visiting the town and the film crew took the opportunity of meeting them.

They visited the field where the crash occurred with Peter Jackman, an eye-witness, and St Wendreda’s Church where there is a memorial to Jim.

After this they came into the museum where Jim’s uniform and war medals and other items are displayed.

During the visit they interviewed, on camera, Alan and Mike Cornwell of the Twinning Association.

Alan said: “The citizens of March have taken him under their wing and as far as they are concerned he is basically a saint.”

Jim’s nephew has also recently visited March and he said he was treated like royalty.

The award to Jim Hocking was the result of a campaign by a school friend, Joyce Milligan, who wrote dozens of letters, including one to the Queen, in an effort to get his heroic act recognised.

The Channel 9 team visited the March Museum on Wednesday.