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Park friends to mark centenary of First World War Hornchurch hero

PUBLISHED: 11:13 19 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:43 19 August 2016

Lt William Leefe Robinson VC of RAF Hornchurch, was the first British pilot to shoot down a German airship over British skies in the First World War.

Lt William Leefe Robinson VC of RAF Hornchurch, was the first British pilot to shoot down a German airship over British skies in the First World War.

Archant

Community members will gather to mark the centenary of the first pilot to shoot down a German airship over Britain during the First World War, on Saturday, September 3.

Lt William Leefe Robinson took off from Hornchurch Airfield - now the site of Hornchurch Country Park - Sunday, September 3 1916 and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery.

To mark the historic date, the Friends of Ingrebourne Valley and Hornchurch Country Park will hold an event in the park with 1940s music, barbecue and stalls between 11am and 4pm.

Committee member, Liz Hawthorne said: “It is a chance for us to make sure that the parks recognised and the massive part it played in the war in protecting the south east.”

A sculpture to commemorate the airfield will be unveiled at 2pm. Part of the propeller blade from the hero’s aircraft will also be presented on loan to the visitors centre.

Hornchurch Streets of Heroes author Richard C. Smith will attend and sign copies of the re-release of his book Hornchurch Scramble.

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