A MEMORIAL plaque paying tribute to the men who gave their lives during the Battle of Britain has been unveiled in Crossways.

Pilots and members of ground crews who served with 152 Hyderabad Squadron at RAF Warmwell were remembered at a special ceremony at The Spitfire Club.

The 152 Hyderabad Squadron was one of eight squadrons to protect targets in the South West during the battle, including Portland naval base.

The plaque, which includes the names of those from the squadron who lost their lives, will be placed above the club’s bar.

Sunday’s ceremony was attended by the relatives of those who served during the Battle of Britain, as well as 95-year-old Alf Allsopp, one of the original members of the ground crew from 152 Hyderabad Squadron.

The event was also attended by Mayor of Dorchester Cllr Robin Potter and standard bearers from the Royal British Legion and the Royal Air Forces Association.

The plaque was unveiled by renowned historian Dilip Sarkar MBE and Rob Rooker.

Mr Rooker, who organised the ceremony and plaque dedication, told the crowd: “I’ve spent 20 years helping 152 Squadron.

“I think to be honest they are a much forgotten squadron and Warmwell is forgotten as well.

“I’ve done the plaque to honour these guys – all the pilots and the ground crews.

“This is more than a hobby to me. This has been my life for the past 20 years.”

Mr Sarkar, who was made an MBE for his services to aviation history, said he took part in the ceremony because Mr Rooker’s dedication towards the Battle of Britain mirrored his own.

He said it was important in this 75th anniversary year of the battle to remember it didn’t just take place in one area.

He said: “When you think about the Battle of Britain you automatically think about London and the south east but there was an awful lot fought over the West Country.”

Commenting on the 152 Hyderabad Squadron, he said: “They were flying in defence of targets in the area such as Southampton, Portsmouth, Portland, Exeter and even Bristol."

“They also flew to London and the South East to reinforce the squadrons there.”

After the plaque was unveiled, attendees were treated to refreshments and a performance by The Decadettes.

Suzy Longstaffe, from The Spitfire Club, said they were delighted to house the plaque and host the event.

She said: “We thought it would be nice for the local community. We’ve done this as a charity event to remember the veterans. It’s an important part of history.”