Ratcliffe College in Leicestershire has received parts of a spitfire that was flown by a former pupil of the school during the Battle of Britain.
Paul Baillon who attended the school from 1923 – 1932, was killed in a dogfight over the English Channel in 1940 just weeks after bailing out of spitfire P9503 near Upavon in Wiltshire.
The wreckage of Spitfire P9503 had been buried in the earth of Salisbury Plain until last year when a team of archaeologists led by Richard Osgood dug it up.
Pupils at Ratcliffe College are building a life size replica of a spitfire out of wood. Parts of the wreckage from Paul Baillon’s spitfire will be included into the model.
Head of art at the college, Dominic Berry said “some of the parts are pretty significant pieces, pieces that are recognisable, pieces that will be seen inside the cockpit”
“what we are going to do with those is use them on our build, that means that our replica of P9503 will have some original parts”
Paul Baillon’s daughter, Rosemary was at the college and said her father would have been very proud and amazed that parts of his plane will now be kept at the school forever.
“Given that my father and his three brothers were here and his Father was here before them, I am particularly pleased that the remains of the spitfire that he flew have come back here”