A COMMUNITY police officer has succeeded in his quest to mark the life of a World War Two Spitfire pilot.

Pilot Hight Road in West Howe was named after New Zealander Cecil Hight, who lost his life in a Battle of Britain dogfight over Bournemouth after his squadron was scrambled to intercept German bombers.

He is thought to be the only Allied airman killed over the town during the war and PC Rob Hammond came up with the idea of remembering him further by adding an image of a Spitfire to the road signs.

The new signs have now been installed and the cost – around £250 – was met by the council’s Local Improvement Fund. Aviation enthusiast Norman Rigler helped with the project, which was also supported by councillors Beryl Baxter and Ted Taylor.

PC Hammond said: “The timing’s good with the Remembrance period and I think it’s the very first one that’s been done in Bournemouth.

“It’s just the idea of people taking a pride and ownership in where they live.

“That should reduce minor criminality, so it’s another way of working with the community to cut down crime.”

Officer Hight’s Mark I Spitfire took fire from one of the German bombers’ rear guns and although he fell from his plane before it crashed at Leven Avenue, near Meyrick Park, his parachute did not open. It is thought that he was too seriously injured to pull the ripcord.

The pilot was buried at Bournemouth East Cemetery a few days later.

Officer Hight was killed on August 15, 1940, and the latest memorial comes in the year the country marked the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.