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Wartime flier's sacrifice remembered

PUBLISHED: 13:59 15 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:47 07 July 2010

A sombre service was held in Fakenham to remember the sacrifice of a French airman who died when his plane crashed at Massingham during the second world war.

A sombre service was held in Fakenham to remember the sacrifice of a French airman who died when his plane crashed at Massingham during the second world war.

In a quiet corner of the Queen's Road cemetery, the Rev Adrian Bell said a prayer for Lt Gabriel de Gramont - a pilot who flew with the RAF's Lorraine Squadron, formed from free French fighters.

He was stationed at the air force base in West Raynham on April 7, 1943, but died three days later when his aircraft crashed during a training mission.

Fakenham mayor Jayne Cubitt laid a wreath on the grave during the annual ceremony last Wednesday.

She said: “I was very proud to do it. I have many roles as mayor but this is one of the things you do because you really want to be there - it is so important to remember these sacrifices.”

Following the ceremony the mayor travelled to the Air Training Corps base at Fakenham High School to inspect the ranks and present a trophy to the mayor's cadet, Lucia Smith. The engraved trophy is given to a different cadet each year, who will escort to the mayor on civic occasions including the remembrance services in November.

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