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Tribute to our Battle of Britain heroes

PUBLISHED: 16:17 15 September 2010

Historian Dave Smith at the Battle of Britain memorial he created in Cascades Leisure Centre on the site of the former Gravesend Airport

Historian Dave Smith at the Battle of Britain memorial he created in Cascades Leisure Centre on the site of the former Gravesend Airport

Archant

Memorial laid to 15 pilots who gave their lives over flying out of Gravesend

Following almost 40 years research, the discovery of the final photograph of the 15 pilots who gave their lives fighting out of Gravesend during the Battle of Britain has resulted in a special memorial to be placed in their honour.

Keen historian Dave Smith has traced the history of the brave men who died during the bitter struggle 70 years ago to produce a plaque bearing their names and photographs which now proudly displayed at Cascades Leisure Centre in Thong Lane, Gravesend.

Along with nearby Riverview Park housing estate, the facility is built on the former Gravesend Airport land, used to support the larger Biggin Hill airport during the historic battle.

He said: “Each picture has a story, which has been researched and adds to the understanding of the sacrifice of each individual. When I was doing my research in the ‘70s you could go into a village and ask after someone and find three or four people straight away. Now it is getting harder.”

To read the full story and accounts of three of the pilots wo died during the Battle of Britain see September 16’s Reporter

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