Battle of Britain hero to be remembered at RAF Marham service today

Battle of Britain veteran Tony Whitehouse. Collect picture of him as a pilot in the RAF.

Battle of Britain veteran Tony Whitehouse. Collect picture of him as a pilot in the RAF. - Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk.

A Rackheath Second World War Hero - who was one of 'The Few' to fight in the Battle of Britain - will be remembered at a memorial service today.

Battle of Britain veteran Tony Whitehouse. Collect picture of him as a pilot in the RAF (second head

Battle of Britain veteran Tony Whitehouse. Collect picture of him as a pilot in the RAF (second head from the top of the picture) - Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk.

Wing Commander Tony Whitehouse Wing Commander Tony Whitehouse was 95 when he died peacefully in his sleep on January 6 and a service at the Royal Air Force Chapel at RAF Maraham will remember the brave man who was just 20-years-old when he took part in the famous campaign.

A member of the RAF Volunteer Reserve at Oxford University, Mr Whitehouse was called to full service on September 1, 1939 when after very little training - he was sent to do 10-12 hours training in Hurricanes - he was posted to 501 Squadron at Gravesend.

Speaking to the Eastern Daily Press in 2005 Mr Whitehouse said: 'Mostly the people that got shot down were newcomers. Once you had a few weeks experience you were far safer.'

The veteran was one of nearly 3,000 men involved in the battle - which took place between July 10 and October 31 1940 - and was shot down in October when the engine of his Hurricane cut out during a dogfight.

Battle of Britain veteran Tony Whitehouse in 2005.

Battle of Britain veteran Tony Whitehouse in 2005. - Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk.


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Bailing out of the plane, the serviceman was found by two Home Guards and taken to a nearby farm for tea.

Becky Brazier, legacy and In Memoriam Fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund - which support RAF veterans and to which donations at Mr Whitehouse's memorial will be made - said: 'Wing Commander Whitehouse and his fellow Battle of Britain pilots bravely flew during some of the most harrowing days of the war; everything was on the line for Britain. As a nation, we are forever in debt to 'the Few'.'

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After serving in India and Burma Mr Whitehouse retired from the RAF in 1946 as a Wing Commander.

• What are your memories of the Battle of Britain? Email rebecca.murphy@archant.co.uk

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