Video: Spitfire flypast over King’s Lynn to celebrate Gaywood Battle of Britain veteran’s 99th birthday

A Spitfire flypast was organised to mark Charles Stokes' 99th birthday. Picture: Ian Burt

A Spitfire flypast was organised to mark Charles Stokes' 99th birthday. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

The Merlin engine roared through the cloudy skies over Gaywood, as one of the last of the few tipped its wings to honour a fellow veteran.

Charles Stokes, who turned 99 a few weeks back served at Duxford in 1940, at the height of the Battle of Britain.

He helped look after the legendary air ace Douglas Bader’s Hurricane fighter plane, before going on to serve at Attlebridge, Foulsham and france after D-Day.

Family, friends and neighbours gathered on the rec field near Mr Stokes’s bungalow in Gaywood this morning.

They’d spread union flags on the grass, to give the pilot an aiming point, while Mr Stokes, riding his mobility scooter, was wearing a hi-vis vest.

After appearing in the distance, as it overflew a Battle of Britain memorial service in King’s Lynn, the roar of its Merlin engine was heard in the distance over Springwood.

Then the sleek fighter flashed into view, banking steeply for another run as Mr Stokes and the crowd on the rec cheered.

For full story, see tomorrow’s EDP.

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1 comment

  • I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Mr Stokes on 15th August 2012. I work for Wherry Housing Association, and we were holding an event on the green near his home. This gentleman is one of the most interesting people it has been my absolute pleasure to meet. He spoke to me for ages about his life in the Royal Air Force, and beyond. He certainly had some tails to tell about Douglas Bader! He also spoke fondly about his son who had followed his footsteps in the RAF. He showed me some family photos too. It was a privilege to be in his company, and he is such an amazing chap. I can think of nobody more deserving of the flypast by a Spitfire. Congratulations Mr Stokes!

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    Tuesday, September 11, 2012


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