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Battle of Britain pilot remembered

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Spitfire pilot who fought in the Battle of Britain after he died aged 94.

Norman Brown was the last surviving member of 41 Squadron based at Hornchurch who heroically defended Britain's skies in 1940 against the German Luftwaffe.

A memorial service was held at the weekend in the Old Parish Church in Peebles, where he had lived in retirement.

Mr Brown died peacefully at Borders General Hospital near Melrose, last Tuesday, and a cremation service is to follow at a later date.

In a tribute his family said: "He was a gentleman in the true sense of the word and never let personal setbacks diminish his wit and sense of honour."

Mr Brown joined the RAFVR in August 1939 as an pilot and was called up the following month.

He initially served in Hastings before being transferred to Derby in April 1940.

After converting to Spitfires, he moved to 41 Squadron at Hornchurch on October 12, 1940.

He was one of a flight of Spitfires that overshot ­Hornchurch in poor visibility on November 1 and went into the London Barrage Balloon area.

Mr Brown struck a cable, seriously damaging his aircraft.

He made a forced landing on a small piece of open ground in the built-up area of Dagenham.

He left the squadron in late February 1941 and left the RAF in April, and spent the rest of the war working in the timber industry.

The father-of-two's entire working career was spent in forestry and he rose to District Commissioner for the West of Scotland with the Forestry Commission.

At the 40th anniversary of the Battle in Britain, there were 125 people airmen who fought still alive.

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