They were Churchill’s brave few.
And one of those fearless Battle of Britain fighter pilots lost his life over the Sussex countryside in October 1940.
Alfred Eric Davies, of RAF 222 Squadron, was shot down by a Messerschmitt fighter plane and crashed in a field next to Upper Wilting Farm off Crowhurst Road.
The 23-year-old had only been airborne in his Spitfire for a matter of weeks and married for a few months. Now Westfield-based military historian Andy Saunders has launched a campaign to have the new Bexhill Link Road named in his honour.
The £100m carriageway will run very close to the site where Alfred’s plane crashed when it opens in 2015. Mr Saunders spent months trying to track down Alfred’s relatives without any success. He was taken for burial in his home village of Tanworth-in-Arden in Warwickshire.
He said: “Pilot officer Davies was one of Churchill’s few to whom a great debt of gratitude is owed. But hardly anything is known about him. Most living in the area won’t know anything about how he died trying to defend his country from invasion. So it is highly appropriate that the link road is named after him. There could be no greater tribute to him and I would hope the authorities will show the courage to honour him. We have enough places and streets named after Queen Elizabeth.
Rother District Council executive director Malcolm Johnston said: “We are happy to take Mr Saunders’ suggestion on board. Although the road is an East Sussex County Council project, RDC is the naming authority. We will be revisiting this subject but for now we are keen to see the road completed as a key part of the area’s regeneration.