Salute to a hero called Bubble
PUBLISHED: 16:53 30 September 2009 | UPDATED: 15:52 16 August 2010
A WWII pilot who crashed and died defending Britain from invasion has had a memorial unveiled to preserve his sacrifice. Robin Bubble Waterston,
A WWII pilot who crashed and died defending Britain from invasion has had a memorial unveiled to preserve his sacrifice.
Robin 'Bubble' Waterston, 23, was shot down and killed on August 31, 1940 ,when his Spitfire dived into the ground in Repository Road, Woolwich, just outside the main gates to the Artillery Barracks.
On Tuesday a memorial stone was dedicated to him, the sixth in a project led by Shoreham Aircraft Museum to honour Battle of Britain pilots killed in South-East London and North Kent.
Against overwhelming odds, all that stood in front Hitler's Nazi invasion was the bravery of young pilots who fought extreme fatigue and fear to retain control of the skies.
Pilot Officer Waterston, of 603 Squadron, is one among hundreds of pilots who died, leading then Prime Minister Winston Churchill to say the famous words: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed, by so many, to so few." Fellow squadron member, Flight Lieutenant Harrold Bennett, read poem High Flight. The service and blessing was led by Reverend Henry Whyte, attended by Mayor Allan MacCarthy and cadets from 66 Woolwich Squadron ATC.
Geoff Nutkins, of Shoreham Aircraft Museum, said: "Robin was only 23 when he was killed and is now almost completely forgotten by most people.
"His sacrifice cannot pass so easily and that is why Robin, along with other pilots, are being remembered in this way."
The first memorial stone was laid in Sparepenny Lane, Farningham, next to where Flight Lieutenant Jimmy Paterson crashed and died on September 27, 1940.
Sergeant John Ellis was listed as missing in action after an air battle over Orpington. In 1993 his remains were discovered in Warren Road, Chelsfield within the shell of his aircraft. A memorial stone marks the place where his Hurricane aircraft buried itself on impact.
Other pilots honoured are Nathaniel Barry, Darenth, Trevor Oldfield, Hesketh Park, Dartford and Paterson Hughes, Sundridge.