Secret Spitfires Memorial – Salisbury, England - Atlas Obscura

Secret Spitfires Memorial

A life-size replica of a Spitfire that sits in a quaint suburb. 

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The Secret Spitfires memorial is a poignant tribute to the remarkable and pivotal efforts of the people of Salisbury, Trowbridge, Reading, and Southampton during World War II. Inaugurated in July 2021, an esoteric operation that remained in mystery for 75 years, these heroes contributed to building these remarkable fighter aircraft. These critically vital acts of collective valor were brought to light by the acclaimed 2016 film The Secret Spitfires. 

When the Germans attacked Southampton’s production facilities, these neighboring towns emerged as covert centers for Spitfire production. These towns set up discreet factories to mitigate public knowledge and tucked them into garages, bus depots, hotels, sheds, and even bedrooms. The workforce consisted of unskilled youth, women, and senior citizens, with the assistance of some engineers. Despite the risks and challenges, these towns manufactured nearly half of the 22,000 Spitfires produced. 

 To honor the many hardworking civilians of the operation, The Secret Spitfire Charity managed and unveiled the Secret Spitfires memorial in 2021. This poignant tribute, a full-sized replica of a Spitfire, is a testament to the sacrifice of those who toiled in secrecy to defend their country.

Know Before You Go

The nearest train station is Salisbury, and is a 34 minute walk or a 19 minute bus journey. There is a small car park at the memorial as well. 

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