Children in Falkirk inspired a massive fundraising effort to pay for a Spitfire to fight the Germans in the air.
One afternoon in August 1940 a band of children dressed as fairies and cowboys invaded the Falkirk Herald offices and placed a cardboard box on the counter containing £12 15s 3d.
They had raised the cash through concerts they organised and wanted the town to buy its very own plane. The editor explained that it cost a substantial amount more for a Spitfire but the bairns were no to be deterred.
“Other places are doing it so why can’t we?”, they demanded. The following day the Falkirk Fighting Fund was duly launched by the newspaper - and the response was “breath-taking”.
Bairns all over Falkirk held bazaars, concerts, sales and every other conceivable way to raise money, while ex-pats sent money from abroad. When enough money was raised it was sent to the Air Ministry and the Abbotshaugh Falkirk Bairn was purchased.
It was shot down just a few months later by German ground defences but not before it had destroyed two Meserschimdt 109s.