69th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain 2009
Members of the CCF (Combined Cadet Force), current pupils and Old Russellians from Royal Russell School in Croydon, all joined together at RAF Kenly in Whyteleafe, to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
This annual service arrange by the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) marks the remarkable victory, and loss of life, by RAF pilots and aircrew during the Battle of Britain in 1940. It was an occasion to mark this nation’s gratitude, for the service and sacrifice of those who took part in this critical phase of World War 2, preceded with a wreath laying ceremony to remember them.
This year however, the school were remembering a particular old boy, Old Russellian Pilot Sergeant ARTHUR DUMBELL SMITH. “Smudge” to his friends, who achieved his schoolboy ambition and joined the RAF in 1936. Sadly he was to lose his life four years later when on the 4th September he had been in combat with a Luftwaffe Messerschmitt over Ashford Kent when his Spitfire was hit and caught fire. He parachuted to ground with severe burns, was rescued but sadly died in the military hospital on the 6th September.
His service during the Battle of Britain saw him having to bale out into the
“Smudge” during his RAF career had been married to a former winner of the Miss Sheerness contest! After a whirlwind courtship, when Arthur had flown into Sheppey in a new Spitfire Mk.1. Please click here for pictures.