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Monument to wartime hero

TONBRIDGE-based sculptor Guy Portelli has been appointed to create a monument to wartime hero Group Captain Peter Townsend.

The statue will form the centrepiece of Hillreed Homes' Townsend Square in Kings Hill at West Malling.

Kings Hill was an RAF station during the Second World War. It was strategically placed to protect the South East, and sorties were regularly flown from the 47-acre aerodrome. Peter Townsend was based at the airfield and was credited with shooting down the first German aircraft over England. He was awarded the DFC and bar and later the DSO.

After the war he was appointed equerry to King George VI and later became known for his romance with Princess Margaret. Mr Portelli said: "I was delighted to be commissioned by Hillreed Homes to produce a lasting memorial to the RAF hero. The statue is still in its initial stages, but the concept is that on one side we have a replica of the Hurricane, which Group Captain Townsend flew, and on the other we have a seated image of him."

The statue is to be unveiled at a ceremony at Townsend Square in the early part of next year.

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