A TRIBUTE to wartime Sidmouth has been praised by the family of one of the very heroes it was erected to salute.

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The daughter of the late Flight Lieutenant Alfred ‘Mike’ Hooper thanked the Royal British Legion (RBL) for its hard work in making the eagle-topped monument in Blackmore Gardens a reality. Daphne Gibbings was invited to the unveiling ceremony last Saturday.

Flt Lt Hooper, a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, Air Force Cross, flew 51 raids over Germany with the Pathfinders, flying Mosquitos with 571 Squadron.

From June to August in 1943, he was posted to Sidmouth as a training officer at Knowle.

He later had a distinguished career in civil aviation - retiring to Sidmouth in 1977 as general manager of flight operations for British Airways. He died in 1992.

His wife, Pat, recently celebrated her 90th birthday and still lives in the town - as does Daphne and her husband, Chris.

Daphne praised the hard work of the RBL in raising funds to provide a tribute to all the people and heroes of Sidmouth during World War Two.

The tribute was pursued and brought to fruition by RBL Sidmouth branch chairman Dave O’ Connor to mark the contribution of Sidmouth people and service personnel based in the town during World War Two.

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