War hero’s Stradishall home goes on the market
A thatched cottage in Stradishall which was once home to the decorated war time hero, Flying Officer Ercolani, who was part of the furniture empire Ercol, is up for sale with estate agent David Burr.
The Thatches has four bedrooms and stands in almost an acre of garden.
Lucian Brett Ercolani was billeted there from 1940 to 1941 during The Second World War, when he was based at nearby RAF Stradishall, as part of No 214 Squadron.
He was the son of the famous furniture designer and maker, also called Lucian Ercolani.
At the end of the war Mr Ercolani senior donated a specially commissioned glass topped wooden cabinet to Stradishall church, as a ‘thank you’ for looking after his son.
Flying Officer Ercolani was one of the most junior pilots ever, to be awarded the military DSO (Distinguished Service Order) for his role in flying a damaged plane back to England after it was hit and caught fire during a bombing raid over Berlin.
The Wellington bomber managed to reach allied territory but crash landed in the English Channel and sank in less than a minute.
The crew members, who all survived, then floated in a dinghy for another three days and nights until they landed on the Isle of Wight.
A fictional story by H E Bates, the author of ‘Darling Buds of May’ was based on the heroic exploits of Ercolani and his survival.
Managing Director, Nick Mills said: “I find the history of the people connected to The Thatches inspiring and intriguing.
“This house is a beautiful Grade II listed family home with good sized rooms and a fabulous mature garden.
“It has all the ingredients of a chocolate box cottage with plenty of beams and original inglenook fireplaces.”
The owner’s daughter, Victoria De Neayer said: “My mother lived here for 20 years and created this beautiful garden from scratch.
“There was only really the pond here when she arrived and she did all the planting herself, being such an accomplished amateur gardener.”