The mystery of how the remains of two Second World War pilots from an RAF base at Beccles ended up in a septic tank has deepened after an inquest failed to provide a clear explanation.

RAF pilot Alfred Robert William Milne, aged 22, and navigator Eric Alan Stubbs, also 22, died after their Mosquito aircraft crashed on the Yorkshire Moors on October 11 1944.

The Mosquito had taken off from RAF Beccles and was transporting a scaled-down version of a bouncing bomb intended for use on shipping when it crashed on its way to Scotland.

Their remains were discovered after a family found a bone while investigating a septic tank blockage by their farmhouse.

One of the family quickly recognised it as a human bone.

They called the police, prompting a huge investigation with officers trying to solve the riddle of how the remains had ended up more than a mile from the crash site in the tank.

The investigation saw a man arrested by police but no further action was taken.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: The two men were flying in a de Havilland Mosquito The two men were flying in a de Havilland Mosquito (Image: BAE)

The inquest held this month heard police detective chief inspector Carol Kirk and forensic archaeologist Dr Carl Harrison confirm the remains were a 'secondary deposition', having been moved from another location.

The RAF plane was thought to have crashed when the pilot saw high ground too late while flying in low visibility.

However, coroner Richard Watson heard a young farm worker nearby had seen the engines sputtering before the crash, implying a mechanical failure or a lack of fuel.

Witness Ken Luck described what he saw when the Mosquito was destroyed on October 11, 1944, to local military historian Richard Allenby.

Mr Luck, then a teenager, saw the plane's nose dip before crashing into the hillside and the bomb roll down the hillside into the farm's orchard.

Fortunately, the bomb didn't explode, sparing the farmhouse in the moor and village of Bransdale from destruction.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: The men's remains had now been buried with full military honours.The men's remains had now been buried with full military honours. (Image: Archant)

Reaching a conclusion of accidental death, Mr Watson said: "It's 77 years since the end of the Second World War, and 78 years since this incident.

"This year would have been Sgt Stubbs' centennial, and PO Milne's would have been last year.

"This is a timely reminder to us all of those young men who made the supreme sacrifice during those difficult times, and it's a reminder of the cost of war."

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Mr Watson noted that the men's remains had been buried with full military honours in the south of England.

The coroner was unable to give an explanation about why the bodies were found where they were.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: A birds eye view of Beccles airfield where the pilots took off fromA birds eye view of Beccles airfield where the pilots took off from (Image: Archant)