Switch on to programme on Hornchurch school’s tragic past

The sights are set on a Hornchurch school this weekend, when the BBC shows a programme about the school’s tragic history.

‘Britain’s Flying Past – the Spitfire’ follows the story of one Spitfire and its journey through the Second World War.

Its final resting was Sanders Draper School and Specialist Science College, in Suttons Lane - named after the pilot who sacrificed himself to save others.

Flying officer Raimund Sanders Draper was forced to crash land the plane after suffering engine failure during take-off on March 24, 1943.

The hero managed to avoid the school – then called Suttons - where children were studying and crashed and died in the playing field nearby.

The programme’s presenter, John Sergeant, visited the school to talk to current pupils about the history.

Assistant head teacher Graham Headely said: “The programme highlights Hornchurch Airfield as it was back then and focuses on the selfless act of Raimund Sanders Draper and the price he paid to save the lives of the pupils at Sanders Draper school, some of whom feature in the programme as well as current pupils attending the school.”

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Filming took place last summer and the programme was originally broadcast last month on BBC1.

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