HE is one of the forgotten heroes of the Battle of Britain – the “Father of Radar” whose revolutionary tracking system helped defeat the Luftwaffe.
But now a major drive is being launched to raise the last funds needed to build a statue in honour of Sir Robert Watson-Watt, the Scottish inventor who played a pivotal role in the struggle for supremacy over the skies of southern England in the summer of 1940.
A special committee, formed in Watson-Watt’s home town of Brechin, in Angus, has already raised enough money to enable Scottish sculptor Alan Herriot to complete a bronze maquette model of the statue
But the Watson-Watt Society has now given Herriot the go-ahead for the full sized 12ft tall sculpture which will be erected in the town’s St Ninian’s Square. It depicts Watson-Watt holding a radar tower in one hand and an RAF Spitfire in the other.
The society has also raised enough money to allow it to commission an Edinburgh foundry to complete a mould of the sculpture. And a final fund-raising drive has now begun to raise the money to pay for the sculpture to be cast in bronze.
Brian Mitchell, secretary of the society, said a fitting memorial to the Scottish inventor was long overdue.
He said: “This will be the first-ever statue to a man who played a pivotal role in our nation winning the Battle of Britain. He was obviously recognised after the war when he got a knighthood and became a member of the Royal Society.
“But there has been no permanent memorial to honour him. In Brechin there is a small plaque on the wall of the old tenement block in Union Street where he was born but there is nothing other than that plaque.
“Yet this man’s role in the victory in the Battle of Britain was vitally important, he was the leader of the team which developed the radar system.”