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Artist pays tribute to World War Two fighter pilot
AN AMATEUR artist inspired by the heartbreaking story of a World War Two night pilot has painted a tribute to him.
Gareth Scott, who is originally from South Africa but now lives in Pokesdown, has created a picture for air ace Wing Commander Branse Burbridge.
The pilot hit the headlines nationally in February after it was revealed he had to sell his medals to pay for his care home fees.
Mr Scott said: “I just read this story and it made me feel unbelievably sad.
“This amazing man had to give away his medals just so he could pay his bills.
“I hope the painting goes some way to replacing what he had to give up.”
Wing Cmdr Burbridge, a pacifist Christian from East Dulwich, South London, was the RAF’s deadliest night pilot, downing 21 Nazi fighter planes during the war.
He joined the force just before he turned 20 in 1941 and flew Mosquitos with 85 Squadron after learning of the atrocities being committed by the Nazis.
The 93-year-old now lives in Chorleywood, Herts.
Mr Scott, who has been painting for around 20 years, said he was ‘inspired’ by the pilot to create a new work of art.
He added: “I don’t mind what happens to the painting.
“It might be that he decides to keep it, or auction it off to help with his fees, but I just wanted to do something as a mark of respect to this amazing man.”
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