Ratcliffe College has received parts of a Spitfire that was flown by a
former pupil of the School during the Battle of Britain. Paul Baillon who
attended the school from 1924 – 1932, was killed in a dogfight over the English
Channel in 1940 just weeks after bailing out of Spitfire P9503 near Upavon in
Wiltshire. The wreckage of Spitfire P9503 had been buried in the earth of
Salisbury Plain until last year when a team of MoD archaeologists led by
Richard Osgood dug it up.
Pupils at Ratcliffe College are building a life size replica of a
Spitfire out of wood, and parts of the wreckage from Paul Baillon’s Spitfire
will be included into the model. Head of Art and Design at the College, Dominic
Berry, said “Some of the parts are pretty significant pieces, pieces that are
recognisable, pieces that will be seen inside the cockpit. What we are going to do with those is use
them on our build. That means that our
replica of P9503 will have some original parts”.
Paul Baillon’s daughter, Rosemary was at the College and said her father
would have been very proud and amazed that parts of his plane will now be kept
at the School forever. “Given that my father and his three brothers were here
and his father was here before them, I am particularly pleased that the remains
of the Spitfire that he flew have come back here”.
The presentation at
the School was covered by both BBC and ITV local news www.ratcliffe-college.co.uk/presentation-to-ratcliffe-college-of-spitfire-p9503-9th-december-2014/