THE Gate Guardian at RAF Uxbridge has been given a fresh lease of life after being fully refurbished by Hillingdon Council as part of the council's Civic Pride and Heritage programme ahead of Remembrance Day on 11 November.
The Spitfire, which stood at the gates of the RAF base until the station closed in March 2010, has been restored and repainted in the colours of 33 Squadron who took part in the D-Day landings in 1944. The Mark IX Spitfire joins a Hawker Hurricane outside the 11 Group Operations Room where it will stand to serve as a reminder of the significance of RAF Uxbridge during the Second World War and the sacrifices of the pilots that flew for Fighter Command.
Councillor Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council said: “The RAF bases at Uxbridge and Northolt are part of our heritage. The young men who gave their lives during the Battle of Britain enable us to have the freedoms that we enjoy today – we owe them so much.”
The Leader of the Council, Cllr Ray Puddifoot, was joined at the unveiling event on the 27 October by the Mayor and Mayoress of Hillingdon Council, Cllr David Yarrow and Mrs Rita Kilroy, Mayors from other boroughs, Councillors, senior council and RAF personnel and representatives from the Normandy Veterans Association and the Royal British Legion.
The council donated the memorial to the RAF as part of its Civic Pride and Heritage programme.