Tuesday 15 September is Battle of Britain Day. To commemorate this day, on Monday 14 September, students from Oathall remembered a local Battle of Britain pilot by laying a wreath and holding a small ceremony at his graveside in Western Road Cemetery in Haywards Heath.
Flying Officer Richard Plummer was born in Haywards Heath in 1912. Joining the RAF in 1937, he was shot down over Thameshaven in Essex on 4th September 1940. He later died of his injuries and is buried here in his hometown.
2020 sees the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and while a larger commemoration of the event is of course not possible this year, students and staff at Oathall Community College were keen to mark this occasion. History teacher Mr Jim Hastings and two Year 11 students, led the tribute by laying a wreath on behalf of the College.
Mr Hastings said of the event,
We as a school are keen to embrace the actions of local people in the past. Richard Plummer fought at the height of the Battle of Britain but sadly died never knowing that he had helped secure victory for his nation. Our history students paid their respects in a manner which epitomises the best of their generation, at the graveside of a man who epitomised the very best of his. They were eager to hear Richard Plummer’s story, from Haywards Heath to joining the RAF, fighting in Norway to his Hurricane being hit over Thameshaven. We feel honoured to have been able to remember a local war hero and share his story with our school community.