Gloucestershire team given Polish Army Medals for Spitfire restoration

A group of men in suits
Image caption,The team were awarded bronze, silver and gold medals at the Polish Embassy in London

By Dawn Limbu & Corinne Torpey

BBC News, West of England

Members of a group restoring a Spitfire plane flown by the Polish Air Force have been honoured for their work.

Scott Booth, from the Forest of Dean, has been restoring the aircraft which was shot down over France in 1941 with members of his family and friends.

He took an interest in restoring the plane after researching the Polish pilot who had flown it.

The team said it had been a “great honour” to be given Polish Army Medals by the country’s government on Friday.

Mr Booth, who lives near Westbury-on-Severn, said the project had gained a large following and that it had been a “very humbling experience”.

“We try to be honest and we try to be objective in what we do in telling the story,” he said.

“We refer to the fact that the war period, specifically the Battle of Britain, was 16 allied nations that came together from all over the world to help us fight,” added Mr Booth.

The Polish Army Medals laid out on a table
Image caption,The team were awarded Polish Army Medals for their work on the Spitfire

The Polish Army medal was established to recognise the service to the Polish Army by foreign civilians and military personnel.

Mr Booth was awarded the bronze medal in 2021 and has now been awarded a gold.

The other members of the team, Tony Booth, Sean Gane, Kari Booth, Brian Booth, Jack Booth and Mariusz Karczewski, were awarded a mixture of silver and bronze medals at the Polish Embassy in London.

A plane
Image caption,The plane being restored by the group was shot down over northern France in 1941

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Booth said the project was something that they had taken upon themselves.

“It’s been very meaningful because we’ve really deep-dived into the lives and histories of people we’ve never met from a different country and with a different language,” he said.

“It’s a great honour for us and we feel extremely humbled to have been recognised by the Polish government for our efforts to bring together communities in a more positive manner,” added Mr Booth.

It is hoped that the plane can be returned to Poland when it is airworthy.

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