Play / pause Remembering Uncle Gerard

Remembering Uncle Gerard

  • Sean Maffett
  • Interview by: Ewan Burnet


So my whole family is, of course,

immensely proud of Uncle Gerard.

It's a huge privilege, I guess, to have, you know,

one of the few in your family

and we've always thought very positively about him.

Very nearly on the 70th anniversary of his death,

a few days short of that,

the whole family went up to Tamarisk Wall

as the site where he died.

The wonderful Jeff Rainer, the man who retrieved

Gerard's aircraft out of the marshes

had arranged for the Battle of Britain memorial flight

to come and do a fly past. They were on there.

The Battle of Britain memorial flight were

on their way out of the Clacton air show,

and they are allowed to do fly past's for people.

Because of my air show commentary position,

I knew the commanding officer of the BBMF quite well

and so when I heard that he'd been asked to do this,

I rang him up and he said, 'You need to know',

he said, 'We're allowed to do three fly pasts

over the site. Any more than three will be

a figment of your imagination.'

And so the family all arrived up there,

and I said a few words and we had some pictures.

And Jeff Rainer was there with one of the Scammell trucks

that they'd used to retrieve the aircraft.

And then the Battle of Britain memorial flight

came up from Clacton.

Spitfire, Hurricane, and Lancaster.

They flew over us no less than six times.

So three were imagined and three were real.

The last of the six, they flew out to sea and came in

and flew at very low level and just popped up

over the cliff where we were standing.

And it was unbearably moving.

A wonderful salute to Pilot Officer Gerard Muffet.

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