A FITTING tribute was paid to a war hero who put his life on the line as a pilot in the Battle of Britain.

Family, friends and Royal Air Force dignitaries gathered at St Eignon Church, in Hay-on-Wye on Saturday to say farewell to retired Squadron Leader Nigel Rose, a Spitfire pilot during the Second World War.

Sqn Ldr Rose, shot down four German planes during the war, but once found himself in trouble over the Channel after he was shot by a German fighter plane, which he later explained had "made rather a mess of the spitfire."

Despite this he managed to return to Westhampnett and landed with no brakes, flaps or radio.

After the war Sqn Ldr Rose became a chartered surveyor and settled in Hay-on-Wye.

To mark his burial a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performed three flypasts over the church.

"It was a poignant and fitting way to say goodbye to a national war hero," said a spokesman for RAF Cosford.

"The Queen's Colour Squadron performed beautifully taking the coffin from the church to the Hurst. As the Spitfire dropped on the final occasion it waggled its wings which was a farewell from one fighter pilot to another.

"You have to be pretty noteworthy to get a flypast and it showed the magnitude of his service to his country."

Air Commodore Alan Gillespie represented Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Lord Lieutenant of Powys Shân Josephine Legge-Bourke was also in attendance alongside air force personnel and representative from the Battle of Britain Trust and family members.