Emotional visit for grandson of flying ace
THE grandson of a wartime flying ace has paid an emotional visit to Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre.
Dr John Todd was given a tour and viewed progress on the project to rebuild a Sopwith Camel — the machine in which his father scored 18 aerial victories in 1918.
He described the tour of the museum by chairman Ron Morris as “incredibly moving, stimulating and nostalgic”.
Dr Todd’s namesake grandfather joined the Royal Flying Corps as a cadet and was posted to No. 70 Squadron RFC to fly the Sopwith Camel single-seat fighter and scored his first victory on January 22.
Captain Todd was later posted to Montrose as an instructor after his final victory in July 1918 and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross followed by his Military Cross.
Post-war, he became a doctor and went to Malawi as a medical missionary.
He was later awarded the MBE for his good work. He died in St Cyrus in 1980.
Dr Todd said: “He was an incredible man, hero, pioneer and medical missionary.
“He was actually a very kind man and didn’t revel in the act of accruing kills. He hated war.
“He witnessed the early death of so many men which he attributed, in part, to their use of alcohol to calm their nerves, while leading a terrifying existence, not of their choice, in those difficult times.”
Dr Todd said his grandfather chose to isolate himself in an attempt to cope with the fact that many of his aircrew may be killed in action the next day.
The Montrose team is restoring the replica Sopwith Camel to as near to its original specification as possible, including the building of a new set of wings, a real rotary engine and even real machine guns.
Main: A picture from the DC Thomson archive shows fans outside Dens Park in 1947 at a Dundee v. Celtic Scottish Cup tie. Top: Top Gayfield Park, Arbroath, in 1950; Middle: Station Park, Forfar, For in 1958; Above: Fans outside Dens Park in the forties.