06 Sep #PURFLEET HERITAGE CENTRE REMEMBER ROYAL FLYING CORPS & JONATHAN CATTON
In a unique event on Sunday 4th September Purfleet Heritage Centre brought together a unique collection to commemorate the contribution of the Royal Flying Corps to defending Britain during the First World War.
The occasion was the centenary anniversary of Lt William Leefe-Robinson’s brave actions in bringing down a Zeppelin. He first engaged the airship over Tilbury before bringing it down in Hertfordshire. The events made him a national hero and he was presented with many gifts including a trophy from residents of Havering and an ink stand from the orphans of Havering. Both items were on display. The event also rembered Group Captain Frederick Sowery and Captain Edmund Tempest who were also airmen responsible for bringing down Zeppelins during the war.
Jackie Doyle-Price said “Purfleet Heritage centre have put together an amazing display which really brings to life the contribution of the Royal Flying corps to defending Britain during world War 1. William Leefe-Robinson was a hero. I commend Alan Gosling and all the volunteers at Purfleet Heritage Centre for highlighting this amazing story.
It was also an opportunity to pay tribute to Jonathan Catton. Jonathan was an amazing source of support for the centre and will be very much missed. Jonathan was never modest about the rich heritage of Thurrock. He saw it as something that should be celebrated and did all he could to raise awareness of it. His legacy lives on in Thurrock through the numerous green heritage plaques around the borough. We should have civic pride in our contribution to the history of our great nation. Whether it be Queen Elizabeth’s famous speech, the arrival of the Windrush, the development of the first container port at Tilbury or the military contribution of the Purfleet Garrison, we should celebrate Thurrock’s contribution to the history of our great nation. Jonathan never failed to remind us and we will miss him hugely.”