Frinton: New tribute for hero pilot

A NEW memorial in tribute to a war hero from Frinton has been unveiled.

The display has been set up at Frinton War Memorial Club to honour daring pilot Ken Gatward.

Wing Commander Gatward, who died in 1998 aged 84, received a string of medals for his accomplishments during the Second World War.

In 1942 he took part in a famous mission over occupied Paris, swooping low over the Arc de Triomphe and dropping a French flag on the monument to help boost morale.

He also turned his Bristol Beaufighter’s machine guns on Gestapo headquarters before returning home.

Wing Commander Gatward was rewarded for the mission with a Distinguished Flying Cross.

He secured a second Distinguished Flying Cross for his part in destroying a German convoy despite sustaining massive damage to his craft in 1944, while also receiving the Distinguished Service Order.

His medals were recently sold for thousands of pounds at auction, but the Frinton War Memorial Club commissioned a replica set.

The new memorial at the club features the replicas, along with a picture of Wing Commander Gatward and a description of his wartime heroics.

Memorial club president Paul Edmondson said: “Ken was a very brave man and it is important we remember his achievements.”

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