James Harry “Ginger” Lacey
DFM & Bar, Croix de Guerre
The WW2 ‘ace’ fighter pilot was born in a house on this site on 1st Feb 1917. He attended Crossley Street Primary School, Wetherby, followed by King James Grammar School, Knaresborough, and then trained to be a Pharmacist at Leeds Technical College.
A member of the Royal Air Force from 1937 until 1967, he flew in the ‘Battle of France’ and then the ‘Battle of Britain’, flying Spitfires and Hurricanes throughout the War and is credited with the second highest number of ‘kills’ of any British Fighter Pilot, with 28 enermy aircraft destroyed, 5 ‘Porbables’ and 9 damaged.
He also is renowned as having shot down one of the planes responsible for bombing Buckingham Palace.
He died at his home in Bridlington on the 30th May 1989.
Fairfield Villas were knocked down and became Nidd Vale Motors. This was abandoned in 2015 and the land eventually sold on to become an Aldi Supermarket. The plaque is situated in the entrance to the car park.
Click on any of the plaques below to see more detail.