Millwall kids find Spitfire in school playground in war-torn Isle of Dogs

The kids couldn’t believe their eyes when they found a full-size replica of a Second World War Spitfire in the school playground.

The children of Millwall’s Harbinger Primary in London’s East End, an area heavily bombed in the war, are learning how the Isle of Dogs was affected when German air-raids targeted the Millwall Docks 70 years ago.

They met veteran Spitfire pilot Brian Bird, now 88, who talked to them yesterday (Thurs) about his wartime experience, part of a heritage project by Eastside Educational Trust and Legasee veterans’ archive.

But the kids couldn’t wait to put Brian’s recollections of aerial combat formation flying into practice in the playground.

Deputy Head Marc Vincent told the Advertiser: “They were fascinated with Brian’s recollections and interviewed him for an archive film. It’s to record memories from wartime pilots before we lose them through time, and how that heritage affects today’s generations.”

The site of Harbinger School itself was wrecked in the Blitz when St Cuthbert’s Church was destroyed where the playground is today. The school is also just half-a-mile from Mudchute urban farm where a wartime ack-ack gun was restored last month in an original wartime gun-site which was used to defend the docks during the Blitz.