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Leefe Robinson pub name restored in Harrow Weald
A PUB which dropped its historic name after a change of management has switched it back following uproar from locals.
The Leefe Robinson was recently taken over by steakhouse chain Miller and Carter, which put its brand name on the front of the pub.
But locals objected to the change, and protested the Leefe Robinson name should be restored given its historical significance and importance to Harrow.
Captain William Leefe Robinson was a pilot during World War One for the Royal Flying Corps.
On the night of September 2, 1916, the pilot became the first man to shoot down an enemy airship over British soil when he gunned down a German SL11.
He was awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest military award, for the achievement and became an overnight hero and household name.
However, the hero pilot was shot down and captured in April 1917 by legendary German pilot Manfred Von Richtofen, and spent the remainder of the war in captivity, despite several escape attempts.
He returned to England in 1918, but died of Spanish Flu in Stanmore in December of that year.
He is buried in the cemetery of All Saints Church, in Uxbridge Road, and the pub opposite was named in his honour.
When residents, outraged by the name change, took their complaints to Councillor Tony Ferrari, whose ward the pub is in, he wrote to the company to ask them to reverse the decision.
Birmingham-based Millier and Carter responded by adding Leefe Robinson VC to the new name of the pub to continue the historical link.
Cllr Ferrari said: “I am proud to have helped ensure we remember such a great hero and welcome the decision of Miller and Carter.
“We must never forget the sacrifice others have made so we can enjoy the freedom we all too often take for granted.”