Remembering Spitfire sorties at RBL Mais House moments

Brian Bird with Carnival court at Mais House summer fair 2014
Brian Bird with Carnival court at Mais House summer fair 2014

Two former WW2 Spitfire pilots will meet for the first time as part of Mais House’s upcoming remembrance of WW1.

This poignant and significant moment is part of a special day of activity at the Poppy Home in Hastings Road on Monday August 4 to mark 100 years since the start of The Great War.

Resident Brian Bird, a Spitfire pilot towards the end of WW2, will welcome his visitor and they will have the chance to look back together on those distant skies and share memories. This meeting has come about because Brian wrote an article for the Royal British Legion magazine in April describing some of his time on 185 Squadron.

Mais House manager Chris Turnbull said: “It so happened that the son of a man called Ken Horne, who had served on 185 Squadron in Italy, spotted the article and contacted the Legion. Thus there will be a formal reunion of two 185 Squadron airman who were serving in Italy and over the past 70 years were oblivious of past association. The first hour of Mais House’s open day will be confined to extending hospitality to VIP guests and residents... Doubtless Ken (he’s 93 now and was an engine fitter) and Brian will be heavily engaged in explaining some of their experiences on 185 Squadron and explaining some of the special features of that wonderful aircraft which Brian feels he was privileged to fly.

This will be against the backdrop of a Legasee Spitfire brought to Mais House by Martin Biseker. From 12-4pm the home will be open to the general public so everyone has the chance to see the Spitfire and also enjoy an old-fashioned cream tea.