Rayleigh MP Mark Francois recently met with classic British actor Edward Fox OBE at an event in London’s City Hall, to recognise Sir Keith Park as a hero of the Battle of Britain.
Sir Keith Park was the commander of 11 Group Fighter Command which oversaw the defence of the South East of England during the Battle of Britain in 1940. The Sir Keith Park memorial campaign, which Rayleigh’s MP has pledged to support, plans to honour 11 Group’s achievements by commissioning a statue of Sir Keith, possibly for the fourth or “missing” plinth in Trafalgar Square.
Commenting on the event, which included the unveiling of a small model or manqué of the eventual statue, Mark said:
“Some of my older constituents can still remember the Battle of Britain and indeed it plays a key part of our history in South East Essex. One of the first Radar stations that formed a key element in our defences was based a Canewdon and Southend Airport, which was then known as Rochford Aerodrome, was used as a fighter station by the Royal Air Force.
We all owe a huge debt to the “few” of fighter command for heroically defending our way of life. I am therefore glad to be able to add my support to the Sir Keith Park memorial campaign and it was also a privilege to meet Edward Fox, who played a fighter pilot in the famous 1967 film “the Battle of Britain”.