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New stand to mark 100 years of Walmer Aerodrome is unveiled

By Eleanor Perkins

A commemorative stand has been unveiled to mark 100 years since the opening of the Royal Naval Air Service Aerodrome in Walmer.

Members of the public joined dignitaries and cadets on the Hawkshill Freedown on Saturday to take part in a procession and service led by the Rev Seth Cooper.

The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and constable of Dover Castle, Admiral the Lord Boyce, unveiled the stand, installed by Walmer Parish Council, in honour of all service personnel who were stationed there in both world wars.

The new stand was unveiled in Walmer on Saturday

The new stand was unveiled in Walmer on Saturday

Deal and Dover MP Charlie Elphicke said: “It was such a moving service remembering the airmen who gave their lives to keep Britain free.

“The new memorial is inspiring and it was incredible to see so many allied forces personnel from across the world come in support.

“Many congratulations to Walmer Parish Council – and particularly Cllr Marguerite Beard-Gould for her hard work making it all happen.”

The ceremony marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of Walmer Aerodrome

The ceremony marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of Walmer Aerodrome

The project was started by councillors Marguerite Beard-Gould and Clive Grant four years ago and took place on the same day and time exactly 100 years ago that a plane took off from the aerodrome, piloted by the commanding officer flight lieutenant Harold Spencer Kerby RNAS.

Reports had been received that German aircraft had bombed Margate.

He engaged the enemy off Southend and for that action was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

The stand overlooks the English Channel, a view everyone stationed at the aerodrome during two world wars would have known well.

A spokesman for Walmer Parish Council said: “It was a poignant service remembering the great sacrifice that was made during both the world wars.”

It was held on the site of the former Walmer airfield on Hawkshill Freedown

It was held on the site of the former Walmer airfield on Hawkshill Freedown

For the full story and more pictures, pick up this week's Mercury - out today.

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