The medals awarded to a Second World War hero are having to be sold off to pay for the fighter ace’s care home costs, it has emerged.
Wing Commander Bransome “Branse” Burbridge, the RAF’s most prolific night fighter pilot of the war, intercepted three of Hitler’s V1 flying bombs headed for London and shot down 21 enemy aircraft. Now though, his family are ‘reluctantly’ selling the collection just to raise the required funds to care for the 93-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer in his old age.
Included in the collection is his Distinguished Service Order and both of his Distinguished Flying Crosses, as well as his RAF flying jacket, which his son Paul, 59, and daughter Sarah Guthrie, 61, hope will raise £120,000 at auction to cover up to six years of care.
Mr Burbridge, an artistic director from York, said: “The cost of the care home is considerable but it is a brilliant place. After his working life he doesn’t have that much (savings) and it isn’t enough to cover the costs.
Ian Moreland, of the 85 Squadron Association, who Wg Cmdr Burbidge flew with in the war, said: “It’s terrible that the family have been put in this situation and is a real kick in the teeth. He’s a hero and unfortunately politicians sometimes forget about that kind of thing.
“As soon as they don’t need you anymore you are dropped like the proverbial ton of bricks.”