Spitfire crash pilot's remains laid to rest
The final remains of a Spitfire pilot who died when his plane crashed 75 years ago are being laid to rest.
A fragment of bone belonging to RAF Pilot Officer Harold Penketh was discovered when the aircraft was excavated in Cambridgeshire last month.
The rest of his body had been recovered shortly after the Spitfire crashed during a training exercise in 1940.
The remains are being cremated at Woodvale Crematorium in Brighton and the ashes interred in Hove.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it was mirroring the wishes of Pilot Officer Penketh's parents, who lived in Brighton when he died in the crash at the age of 20.
Sue Raftree, of the MoD's casualty and compassionate centre, said it had consulted his elderly cousins, who live in the north of England.
The ashes are being interred at St Peter's Church in West Blatchington, at a spot believed to be where the original remains were scattered.
Ms Raftree said it was not expected that more remains would be found during the dig at Holme Fen.
"The Spitfire went down 30ft so it would have been very hard in 1940 to confirm if everything was found of him," she said.
"It was the war years and they didn't have the same resources and time as we do today."
An RAF padre will conduct the service at the crematorium. He will hold a joint service with the Reverend Daniel Smith at St Peter's Church.
"A tragedy which took place decades ago still has the power to stir the emotions, and we are pleased and privileged to be able to help bring a sense of closure to these events," said Mr Smith.
Ms Raftree said Pilot Officer Penketh's watch and cigarette case, which were recovered from the site, are to be returned to his cousins.
The Spitfire remains are expected to go on public display at a later date.