Dozens of people – including a fellow veteran – braved the cold and the occasional snow flurry to stand in woodland near Ashford and pay their respects to a Battle of Britain hero who died 73 years ago.
Distinguished Hurricane pilot and one of Churchill’s “Few”, Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC, AE, was among those who attended the final tribute to Sergeant Pilot Robert HB (Bobby) Fraser.
Sgt Fraser died when his Hurricane, V6851 of No 257 Squadron, crashed at Moat Farm Shadoxhurst on 22 October 1940.
The plaque was unveiled by Kent High Sheriff Michael Bax, whose land at Moat Farm was the site of the crash 73 years ago and who felt there should be a permanent memorial to the airman.
On 3 September 1940, Sgt Fraser was credited with the probable destruction of a Bf 110 near North Weald. Just over a month later his aircraft crashed after an encounter with Messerschmitt Bf 109s over Folkestone.
The plaque and base, made and donated by Gordon Newton of the Stone Shop, Maidstone, marks the woodland spot where the Hurricane crashed. Sgt Fraser is interred in Craigton Cemetery, Glasgow.
Six standard bearers from ex-service organisations were at the ceremony for Sgt Fraser, who was just 20 when he died. The service was led by the Rev. Rod Whateley, the Vicar of Warehorne.
Mr Whateley said Sgt Fraser had “paid the ultimate price for our freedom,” adding that the plaque would be “a lasting reminder of his courage, bravery and sacrifice.”
The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust’s own Geoff Simpson outlined Sgt Fraser’s career during the early days of the Second World War.