Isle of Dogs schoolkids to meet Battle of Britain pilot with replica Spitfire

A full size replica Spitfire is being transported to a school in London’s East End, where Battle of Britain veteran Brian Bird is to tell his story of his days as a Second World War pilot.

The replica is coming to Harbinger Primary on the Isle of Dogs next Wednesday—to an area devastated by heavy bombing when German air-raids targeted the Millwall Docks 70 years ago.

It’s part of a heritage project by the Eastside Educational Trust and Legasee veterans’ video archive to give youngsters greater insight into the heritage of the East End during the War.

Harbinger’s Headteacher Mandy Boutwood said: “This is an opportunity for the children to learn from someone who had direct experience of flying a Spitfire and who actually played a part in something that directly affected so many in this area.”

Workshops are planned where the pupils respond to Brian Bird’s stories by creating reports with narratives written in first person, which will be filmed to make a lasting testimonial of his story and how his heroism touches today’s young generation.

Legasee’s Martin Bisiker said: “It’s really important that we capture these veterans’ personal stories and preserve them in ways that appeal to young people.”

Habinger School is less than a mile from Mudchute Farm where a wartime ack-ack gun has just been installed and restored in an original gun-site operated during the Blitz to defend the docks against German bombers in 1940.