Memorial for Spitfire pilots who died over Wiltshire

This Is Wiltshire: Members of the Battle of Britain memorial flight admire the plaque Members of the Battle of Britain memorial flight admire the plaque

Several hundred people are expected to join military top brass and civic leaders in a Wiltshire village for a poignant ceremony to mark the deaths of two young Spitfire pilots 73 years ago.

A monument to the pair, whose aircrafts collided over Seagry during Second World War training in 1941, will be unveiled in the village on Sunday, September 14.

The ceremony will include an RAF fly-past, a guard of honour and will be attended by a host of local dignitaries along with relatives of the rookie airmen and representatives from their squadron.

It will conclude a community-led project to install a £1,500 stone marker and plaque as a permanent reminder of their sacrifice.

The project began when villager Martin Painter found a piece of metal from one of the aircraft in a field, which led him to uncover the pilots’ story.

Mr Painter, leader of the Seagry Spitfire Memorial campaign, said: “The project has had great support from the community. Things are progressing very well and we hope to have the memorial completed within the next few weeks.”

Flying Officer John Brewster, 25, from Yorkshire and Pilot Officer Harold Williams, 23, of Putney, both of 118 Squadron, were flying Spitfire Mk1as when they crashed into each other over Seagry Mill in April 1941.

Both men are buried at St Giles Church, Stanton St Quintin.

The stone memorial and plaque will be placed on the grass verge of Seagry Road, at the junction of Five Thorn Lane.

The ceremony will be conducted by a team including a padre from RAF Brize Norton. Royal British Legion branch members from Malmesbury Chippenham and Colerne will attend along with representatives from Bristol University Air Squadron and North Wiltshire MP James Gray, along with civic leaders from Chippenham and Malmesbury.

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