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Home Gravesend News Article
They belonged to the former landlord of the pub in Coldharbour Road and have since appeared online for an auction taking place in Gloucestershire.
Lots include an original tailplane from a Luftwaffe Messerschmitt aircraft believed shot down in 1940.
The lot, among nine being sold at Dominic Winter Auctions’ two-day sale of historic aviation items, says: “A rare well-preserved large souvenir and former long-term principal display feature of the former Battle of Britain pub.
"Later inscribed with painted motto ‘Battle of Britain Pilots - Drinks on the House!’.
“Of further interest are previously patched bullet holes, evidence of earlier actions, and a large number of signed autographs of former pilots, mostly faded and indistinct after many years on open display.
“The starboard side is distinctly discoloured from fire and cigarette smoke, whilst the display side shows some fading and wear commensurate with age.
“Of the signatures more clearly defined are J Anstee, Josef Cermak Sq.310, Samuel Lyle, Mike Haigh 264 Sqdn.”
It has an estimated value of £6,000-£8,000.
Also for sale is a propeller dating back to 1917, five cases of medals and insignia, framed prints and a photograph of the original wooden building at Northfleet being dismantled.
The Battle of Britain pub was originally a wooden hut which stood behind the current building’s location. It was created by RAF personnel in 1947.
It was built to commemorate a wartime event, when Gravesend was the first RAF station to operate the American P-51 Mustang III long-range single-seat fighter-bomber.
In 1961, the owners of the pub purchased Shears Green House, which is now the current Battle of Britain pub. The old hut was demolished in May 1962.
The auction takes place today and tomorrow (Friday).
You can view the lots at www.dominic-winter.co.uk
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