Events and News

The Memorial path installed

Despite the restrictions and consequences of Covid 19, Vision have successfully installed a memorial path to the memorial.

Memorial Path

The story of Farsi Children at Fairlop

Section of Spitfire VB BM361 flown from Fairlop by Karel Pavlik on 5 May 1942

When Fairlop Heritage Group had a stand at Fairlop Fair, a group of Asian children arrived, accompanied by their teacher. He was the only one who spoke English. The children were Iranian and spoke Farsi.

I had brought with me a section of Spitfire VB BM361, flown from Fairlop for the last time by Karel Pavlik of 313 squadron on 5 May 1942. He took part in Circus 157, the code name for an operational tactic in which RAF bombers were sent out to bomb vital targets in France.

24 of these fighters engaged in dog fights with 21 Focke-Wulf 190 fighters. There followed twenty minutes of dramatic aerobatics and dog fighting in which four young men were killed, with several pilots returning to their airfields either wounded or with badly damaged aircraft.

Telling the story to the teacher, he translated it into Farsi, as the section of Spitfire contained within a Perspex box was being passed around by the children..

Sgt. Karel Pavlik in his Spitfire spiralled down and buried itself in the side of Kemmelberg, so deep, his body, still strapped in his cockpit, was not recovered until 1945. It appears that he was shot in the head and died before his Spitfire reached the ground.

On 5 May 2011, I visited the crash sites and laid a wreath during a moving ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres. Afterwards I saw the Merlin engine of Karels Spitfire in the garage of Wim Huyghes who excavated it. He the presented me with a piece of wreckage.

This was still being passed around by children.

When the teacher realised what the item was being passed around, he retrieved it and handed it back to me. I asked why?

His reply surprised me. ‘In case it gets damaged.’

I laughed, as It was not possible for it to be damaged any further!

The planned VE Day event on 8 May 2020, at Fairlop Waters Country Park
to share a moment of celebration has been postponed.
Fairlop Heritage Group, Vision RCL and LB Redbridge, were due to have an afternoon of celebration, during which a memorial path would have been dedicated.

VE Day was celebrated, but restricted by Covid 19 as can be seen by the collage below.
Top left : Revd Kate Lovesey lays a wreath at the Fairlop Memorial.; centre: David & Barbara Martin with their display at home in Hanover Gardens; right: Cllr Clark and Cllr Berlin at the Fairlop Memorial.
middle: the display and Max Bean former F/Sgt with Bomber Command.
bottom: Hanover Garden residents observe the two minute silence.

Emily Benson age 6 has raised £500 fo the NHS and drew artwork for VE Day.The flag was flown by Jeff in Trelawney Road and Trish had a display in Hanover Gardens.

Remembrance Ceremony at Fairlop Waters on 11 November, silence at 1100hrs.
This event will take place, as and when current restrictions are lifted.

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