Stow Maries: Sword donation a legacy of heroic flight commander

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Stow Maries: Sword donation a legacy of heroic flight commander Stow Maries: Sword donation a legacy of heroic flight commander

A historic aerodrome has received a new exhibit after the grandson of a heroic former flight commander visited for the very first time.

Lieutenant Claude Ridley was just 19-years-old when he was posted to Stow Maries Aerodrome in August 1916.

In his role as the first ever flight commander of the 37 Squadron Royal Flying Corps, he was in command of 120 personnel and responsible for stopping German bombers from dropping bombs on England.

Lieutenant Ridley was later awarded the Military Cross for his outstanding bravery against German raiders and the Distinguished Service Order for a heroic escape after being forced down behind enemy lines in Belgium.

Such was his affinity with Stow Maries that he and his wife were both buried at the village’s St Mary and St Margaret Church yard.

SEE TODAY'S STANDARD FOR THE FULL STORY

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