15.08.1940 No. 234 Squadron Spitfire I R6988 P/O. Cecil H. Hight
Date: 15th August 1940 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 234 Squadron
Type: Spitfire I
Base: RAF Middle Wallop, Hampshire (10 Group)
Location: Leven Road, Bournemouth
Pilot: P/O. Cecil Henry Hight 41924 RAF Age 22. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
A huge raid made up of some 70 Luftwaffe bombers escorted by over 150 fighters were spotted making their way towards Portland in Dorset late in the afternoon. 234 were scrambled as well as other fighter squadrons.
At around 18:00 hrs his Spitfire was hit whilst over the Bournemouth area. It seems that he piloted his aircraft away from the populated area os the town and headed towards Metric Park. He then baled out but too low and his parachute failed to deploy. His body was found in the grounds of Hambledon on Leven Avenue with the Spitfire coming down just 50 yards away at the junction of Leven Avenue and Walsford Road.
The owners of the ground at Hambledon, Edith and Alfred Hoare created a garden of remembrance to the pilot. Just 3 months later on the 14th November 1940 the house was bombed, both were buried in in the rubble, Edith survived but Alfred died the following day.
On the 15th August 2015 a memorial stone was placed at the crash site and the local council named a road in West Howe Pilot Cecil Hight with an image of a Spitfire.
The squadron suffered 4 casualties during this operation, the others:
P/O. Richard Hardy 41921 RAF flying Spitfire I N3277 AZ-H force landed in France and taken PoW. Survived the war, passed away in September 1977.
P/O. Vincent Parker 42356 RAF flying Spitfire I R6985 shot down and taken PoW. Survived the war as a PoW, but sadly killed on the 29th January 1946.
Sgt. Zygmunt Klein 780685 PAF flying Spitfire I P9363 hit and crashed at Twyford - survived. Missing over the English Channel on the 28th November 1940 whilst with 152 Squadron.
P/O. Cecil Henry Hight. Bournemouth East Cemetery. Row S.1. Grave 144. Born on the 06th September 1917 at Taranaki, New Zealand, the son of Herbert Edward Hight and of Emma Hight (née Anderson), of Stratford, Taranaki, New Zealand. Thought to have completed 68 operational sorties. Grave inscription reads: "I Love Them That Love Me And Those That Seek Me Early Shall Find Me".
Zygmunt Klein Archive Report
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: