Secret Spitfires Memorial

The Secret Spitfires Memorial has been unveiled in Salisbury. The life-sized replica MK-9 Spitfire honours civilians that built the plane in World War Two. It’s been sited near a former factory on the site of the current rugby club.

The event was marked by a flypast by a Spitfire and the ribbon was officially cut by Norman Parker – an aircraft engineer during the war who was also involved with bringing the memorial to life.

A bespoke bench is next to the memorial, paying tribute to Ethem Cetintas, co-director and producer of the film Secret Spitfires.

Over 2,000 Spitfires were built at secret sites in garages, sheds, a bus depot and a hotel in Salisbury after Southampton’s Spitfire production facilities were bombed by the Luftwaffe in 1940.

The work was carried out by unqualified civilians and a handful of engineers.

Plaques will be placed at the sites of all the spitfire factories in the city:

  • Anna Valley Motors Garage, now McCarthy and Stone retirement homes
  • Chattis Hill Aerodrome
  • Final Assembly Area, now Highpost Business Park
  • Wilts and Dorset Bus Garage, 141 Castle St
  • Wilts and Dorset Bus Depot, now Salisbury Reds, 152 Castle St
  • Wessex Motors Garage, now Old George Mall Car Park
  • Factory No. 1, now the Car Park, Salisbury RFC, Castle Rd
  • Factory No. 2, now Janspeed, Castle Rd
  • Watt & Vincent, now A.J. Waters Garage, Devizes Rd
  • Highpost Hotel, now The Stones Hotel, Highpost, Old Sarum
  • Wiltshire Flying Club, now Chemring, Highpost

Although Salisbury was the main Spitfire manufacture site in the county, they were also made in Trowbridge.

The Secret Spitfires charity has been instrumental in bringing the story of this iconic fighter plane and it’s secret workers to life.

The 2016 documentary The Secret Spitfires tells the story of the factories, and there’s a book too.

View images of the Secret Spitfires Memorial unveiling