Hurricane flypast tribute to Montrose romance

Watch the skies: the iconic aircraft will fly over Angus.
Watch the skies: the iconic aircraft will fly over Angus.

The rare sight and sound of a wartime Hurricane will be seen and heard over the Angus skies.

In a poignant celebration of a romance of seven decades ago, the veteran aircraft will undertake a special mission from Kent to pass over the grave of sweethearts who met in the county and the Montrose airfield that played a key part in their lives.

At 11am the magnificent aircraft from the Historic Aircraft Collection (HAC) at Duxford is due to complete a flypast over Sleepyhillock cemetery on the edge of the Angus town, where Ronald and Alice Jordan are laid to rest.

It will then make a pass over the former air base at Broomfield, home to Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, which is currently in the midst of a centenary programme celebrating the facility’s role as Britain’s first operational military airfield.

The ceremony and flypast have been organised by Ronald Jordan’s family from Kingswood in Surrey, who have also presented the Angus heritage attraction with important new material for its world-famous collection.

Air station museum curator Dr Dan Paton said: “Ronald Jordan was ground crew in No615 (County of Surrey) Squadron when war broke out in September 1939. He was with the squadron throughout the Battle of France and then in the thick of the Battle of Britain, at RAF Kenley. He was posted to RAF Montrose where he served for three years with No8 Flying Training School and No2 Flying Instructors School.”

Dr Paton added: “He would have been very familiar with the Hurricane, which equipped No 615 Squadron and was also used by the training units at Montrose. Like many men who served at Montrose, Ronald met and married a Montrose girl, Alice Gibson. They were married on February 24 1943 at St George’s and Trinity Church, Montrose, and their son, Ronald Gibson Jordan, was born at Montrose.

“It is appropriate that their final resting place is in Sleepyhillock cemetery with the graves of many men of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force who were killed while training at Montrose.”

Dr Paton said the air station museum had been delighted by the family’s generous donation of letters, photographs and documents relating to Mr Gibson’s RAF career and his involvement with his Squadron Association and RAF Association after he left the service. “The items include a rare Hawker Hurricane manual and this collection adds to our knowledge of RAF Montrose in the Second World War.”

l The (HAC) to which the Hawker Hurricane XIIa (G-HURI) belongs was formed to restore and operate a collection of piston-engined military aircraft. It also operates a Spitfire Mk. Vb (G-MKVB), Hawker Nimrod II (G-BURZ) and Hawker Fury (G-CBZP). One million people a year are estimated to see the planes at displays.

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