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"I'm holding a Sunday lunch to remember my grandfather, a Battle of Britain pilot"

Flt Lt Malcolm Finney 'Eddie' Edwards made the ultimate sacrifice during WWII – on 29 December 1944, he was shot down over Germany – 23 days before his daughter was born.

The late Flt Lt Malcolm Finney 'Eddie' Edwards

Seventy years later to the day, James Atkinson and his mother Elizabeth travelled to Spelle in Germany to stand on the spot where Eddie's Hawker Tempest aircraft crash landed in a field.

He had been posted to 3 Squadron as a reconnaissance pilot and was carrying out missions while based in Holland.

Eddie started out as a Gloster Gladiator pilot, having signed up to join the RAF aged 21 on 8 April 1939.

Just a year later he was preparing to protect Great Britain's skies during the Battle of Britain, serving as part of No.10 Group patrolling the harbour areas of Plymouth and Exeter.

Eddie was an ace pilot, having claimed 12.5 flying bombs shot down, and had several run-ins with German aircraft during his time on 247 Squadron in 1940.

James said: "I am immensely proud that my grandfather took part in the Battle of Britain. It would have been nice to meet him but I have all the stories and memories from his friends. I have met several of them who flew with him.

"Standing on the exact same spot at exactly the same time 70 years on was quite moving, especially standing there with some of the eye witnesses that saw it happen. People from the village had put a little cross up for him.

"We met some eye witnesses and found parts of the aircraft still there in the German field. It was very moving. I have kept up a friendship with the people we met. I am trying to go over every other year to see people and to plod along in the field to see if I can find any more parts.”

James plans to hold a 1940s Sunday lunch buffet event at his home to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund's Great British Sunday Lunch.

He added: "We can remember everyone who is serving now and who has served in the past."

To find out more about the RAF Benevolent Fund's Great British Sunday Lunch, go to

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