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Winchester village linked to historical hero
HE is a towering figure in British history, his swashbuckling exploits immortalised on screen and in his own books.
Now an historical project in Swanmore has unearthed a link between the village and the great Lawrence of Arabia.
Hugh Junor, whose family home was on Chapel Road, was a pilot for T.E. Lawrence during the Arab Revolt of 1916 to 1918.
Local historian Keith Harrington has been involved in Swanmore’s efforts to commemorate the First World War, spearheaded by village archivist, Crawford Wright.
It was during this research Mr Harrington was shown a picture of Mr Junor – the same Junor mentioned in Lawrence’s autobiography, Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
Lawrence recalls how the Hampshire man was the hero of the hour as he arrived to his rescue in an early RAF aeroplane and diverted the enemy’s attention.
Mr Harrington said: “During the period of his military service, from time to time I understand he stayed with his parents and younger brother, Cecil, at the family home, Flint Cottage, in Chapel Road.”
Surviving the Great War, Mr Junor later became a test pilot with the RAF.
Mr Harrington says an elderly lady, whose father had run a pub in Swanmore, recalls the young pilot popping in on occasion.
“And I believe occasionally he would fly over the village. He would do a few loop-the-loops and head off again,” he said.
Aged 31 and by that time a Flight-Lieutenant, Junor was killed while testing an aircraft at Huccelecote, near Gloucester, in 1927.
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