Clive Sharples tells the story behind a memorial to a Luftwaffe pilot who laid down his life for his crew during the Battle of Britain.

Oestermann was flying a Ju 88 similar to this one when shot down on August 13, 1940. (CHRIS GOSS COLLECTION)

Walkers, leaving behind them the Royal Oak pub at Hooksway, West Sussex, and heading up to the South Downs Way must tackle the steep hike through Phillis Wood to reach the summit of Philliswood Down at Treyford. About a mile into the climb, and set back from the path, they will see a rough stone memorial bearing an inscription on a granite stone plaque – ‘In memoriam, Hauptmann Joseph Oestermann, Pilot, KG 54 Stab 1, 1915-1940’.

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