Toddler joins in poignant tribute to airman who died a hero

Little Teejay Woollard and his father Alan at the war hero's grave
Little Teejay Woollard and his father Alan at the war hero's grave

A toddler has played a key role in an event honouring an old comrade of his grandfather.

Teejay Woollard, aged 21 months, presented a new Australian flag to fly at the memorial to Second World War hero Les Knight just outside the village of Den Ham in Holland.

Australian Knight was the pilot of a Lancaster bomber which was severely damaged on a raid in September 1943.

He ordered his seven-man crew to bail out and then fought to keep the crippled plane in the air, steering it away from the village to avoid disastrous loss of life before being killed when it crash landed. His sacrifice has never been forgotten.

One of the RAF crew that fateful day was Lewes-born Sergeant Les Woollard – Teejay’s grandfather – who was sheltered by a Dutch family and eventually managed to make his way back to Britain from Occupied Europe.

Little Teejay travelled to Holland with other members of the Woollard family and laid a wreath with the help of his father Alan at the grave of Pilot Officer Knight.

The new flag was given to memorial carer Lucas Kamphuis, 85, who had witnessed the crash 74 years ago.

It was donated by Australian MP Andrew Wilkie after he heard the old flag was worn out.