Shropshire Star

Ironbridge flypast cancelled following Spitfire tragedy but event continues in true wartime spirit

A planned Battle of Britain Memorial Flight has been cancelled for a Shropshire World War II event, after Spitfire crash on Saturday left a pilot dead.

Last updated

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

The Royal Air Force pilot died after a crash in a field near RAF Coningsby, in Lincolnshire.

He had been part of a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) flying near the air station.

The BBMF was due to fly over Shropshire on Sunday for the annual Ironbridge WWII Weekend but that fly past has now been cancelled in the wake of the tragedy.

Organiser Paul Bull said a silence was going to be held at the Ironbridge event on Sunday, which was now likely to finish earlier due to the cancellation of the World War II flypast.

“It is a tragedy and our thoughts are with the family of the pilot. We are having a memorial service and two minutes silence," said Paul. “We are still running and the event is on, but the flypast has been cancelled.”

However, he added that Saturday had proved "a cracker" with a record number 10,000 through the door, including hundreds of people who dressed up for the day, with spivs, land girls and soldiers getting into the swing of things.

“I was a cracker. I don't think we had as many through the door on one day before,” said Paul. “There were re-enactments, music in the marquee, and lots of promenaders in their 40s attire. It was a really wonderful to see.”

But he added following Saturday's tragedy, combined with forecasted poor weather, the event was likely to wind down earlier than planned.

The Spitfire crash on Saturday occurred at around 1.20pm. The pilot, who has not been named, was declared dead at the scene and confirmed dead by the MOD, who said the dead man's family had been informed.

The Prince and Princess of Wales were among those sending their condolences following the news on Saturday.

William and Kate said on their Kensington Palace X account: “Incredibly sad to hear of the news this afternoon from RAF Coningsby.

“Our thoughts this evening are with the pilot’s loved ones, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and the wider RAF family. W & C.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.