Mearns Battle of Britain veteran attends memorial

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A Laurencekirk Battle of Britain veteran has been able to attend a memorial sevice for his brother who was killed in the Second World War, following intervention by local MP, Sir Robert Smith.

Ninety-nine year old Charles Crowther was initially stopped from attending the airside ceremony at Leeds Bradford International Airport, as he did not have a passport or driving licence.

Hearing of Mr Crowther’s struggles, Sir Robert contacted the airport to see if the issue could be resolved.

The airport then confirmed that Mr Crowther would be able to attend if he could provide a signed photo and a birth certificate.

Last week, the MP visited the Battle of Britain veteran to hear about his journey to Leeds Bradford International to see the unveiling of a memorial to his brother, William, and members of the 609 (West Riding) Squadron.

Sir Robert said: “When I heard of Mr Crowther’s difficulties in attending the ceremony I contacted the airport to see if there was any way he would be able to be present at the memorial.

‘‘Following discussions with the airport authorities, it was agreed he would be able to go if certain documents could be provided in time.

“It meant a great deal to Mr Crowther to be able to attend and commemorate his brother in this way, and it was an honour to meet him and learn more about his role, and his brother’s role in the war.”

Charles’ brother, William Crowther, died in 1942 at the age of 30 when his aircraft was shot down as he returned from an air raid on Essen, Germany.

He and his flight crew were just about to reach the Norfolk coast when a German shell hit the fuselage of the plane, causing it to explode over the North Sea.