An Irish-man who saved the village of Arreton in World War Two has been remembered at a ceremony near the crash site where he died.
Sergeant John Keating Haire managed to divert his plane into a field in the village, despite making it onto the wing he did not manage to deploy his parachute.
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Yesterday (Thursday) the Royal Air Force performed a march on parade, in the field next to the crash-site, for around 150 people, who turned up to pay their respects. There was a speech from the Managing Director of the Battle of Britain Historical Society, John Pulfer who told Sergeant Haire’s story.
A Battle of Britain poem (Last Scramble) was read by pupils of St. George’s Church of England Primary School, Arreton. A Winston Churchill speech made originally on 20 August 1940 was recited by a Cadet of the Air Training Corps.
Flight Lieutenant Joel Babbage gave a flying officer speech, which was followed by Reverend Janice O’Shaughnessy’s thanksgiving for the young Sergeant’s life and as a crowd we prayed.
The significant and stunning memorial stone was swiftly unveiled by Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenant, Nicholas Oulton DL, followed by a ‘The Last Post’ and two minutes silence. ‘
Denise Tizard’ from ‘Wight Diamonds Marching Band’ played ‘The Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ on her trumpet.
Colourful wreaths were laid calmly by relatives, members of the Armed Forces, John Pulfer, Bob Seely MP and others.
To conclude the afternoon a Spitfire performed a loud, dramatic flypast over the field.
Listen to Isle of Wight Radio’s exclusive report:
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