A MEMORIAL event is being held to remember a “forgotten” Battle of Britain pilot from York.

Relatives of Fl Lt Geoffrey “Sammy” Allard, who was born in York, are invited to a weekend of events to remember the pilot.

Mr Allard was hailed a hero after being credited with shooting down 23 enemy planes during the famous Second World War air battle.

But after surviving his perilous missions and being presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross by King George VI, the 28-year-old pilot was killed in a crash during a routine flight in 1941.

He died alongside two other servicemen; William Henry Hodgson and Francis Walker Smith.

On the second weekend of March, relatives of all three men have been invited to Saffron Walden, where they were buried, for a reception.

There will be a fly-past of Hurricane fighters, the laying of a wreath at the men’s graves and the naming of Allard Way, a new street in the town.

The event has been arranged by Chris Allard, Mr Allard’s cousin once removed.

He said: “Sammy is in the top ten of Battle of Britain fighter pilots but he is one of the forgotten few. They did their bit for their country.

“It is a forgotten story and it is quite a poignant one.

“The squadron was shattered by the crash. To lose them in one day and for it to be forgotten is quite sad.” Mr Allard was born in York in September, 1912, the son of Sydney Harold Allard and Elizabeth Allard (née Higgins) and was married to Kathleen Minnie Ross, in York, in 1937.

A number of relatives of Sammy have been in touch with Chris Allard following a story in The Press.

For more information email c.r.allard@blueyonder.co.uk