Whilst out for a cycle ride this afternoon on one of my regular routes, something caught my eye on the corner of a T-junction about 2 miles from my house.
It looked like a granite memorial headed with the recognisable RAF crested motto, something I can't remember seeing before; I carried on but made a point of stopping off to take a look on my return an hour later.
It turned out to be a (relatively new) memorial to a 603 Squadron Spitfire pilot lost on Battle of Britain day: F/O Arthur Peter Pease
Here's the excerpt from the BBM website:
F/O A P Pease
Arthur Peter Pease, the son of Sir Richard and Lady Pease of Richmond, Yorkshire was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read History. He was a member of the University Air Squadron and was commissioned in the RAFVR in September 1938.
Called to full-time service in October 1939, Pease completed his flying training and was posted to No.1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum in late May 1940.
He met Richard Hillary there and they became friends. They went to 5 OTU, Aston Down on 23rd June and after converting to Spitfires they joined 603 Squadron at Dyce on 6th July.
Pease shared in destroying a He111 on the 30th. He was hit by return fire but returned to Montrose, unhurt. On 3rd September he claimed a Me109 destroyed and on the 7th he made a belly-landing back at Hornchurch in Spitfire L1057, after being damaged in combat over London. On 15th September 1940 Pease was shot down and killed in combat. His Spitfire, X4324, crashed at Kingswood, near Chartway Street, Kent.
He was 22 and is buried in the churchyard of St.Michael and All Saints at Middleton Tyas, Yorkshire.
It's the closest Battle of Britain loss to where I live that I'm aware of and it kind of struck a chord with me today, especially as I hadn't previously been aware of it; I've lived in this area now for almost 12 years.
So, I've decided to honour F/O Pease, virtually. For the foreseeable future, I will be flying in the Spitfire he was lost in, X4324 on Thursday's CloD nights.
Further reading here, it seems a retired American academic paved the way for the above memorial: