DESPITE the constant fear of enemy attack during the Blitz, there was at least one lighter moment, reported by the Daily Echo in October 1940, under the headline: “Unsolicited testimonials from captured German raiders.’’ It appears three German flyers had bailed out of their fatally damaged aircraft over Southampton and managed to parachute safely to the ground.

Once back on their feet they were surrounded by a crowd of intrigued locals, to which, in broken English, one of the pilots, perhaps hedging his bets, began congratulating the RAF on its flying skills.

The German is said to have told the onlookers: “No more fighting; English too good’’ while a second Lufftwaffe, seeing a platoon of British soldiers advancing towards him, said: “I am a German aviator, and will you please take me to the RAF.’’ However the third downed pilot, allegedly using impeccable English, went even further: “We lost at least 50 planes on Sunday. This war will be over in three weeks.’’ Unfortunately, like his flying skills, the German was way off the mark, but a Daily Echo journalist who was at the scene seemed to be impressed by the enemy flyer, who he described as “a fine figure of 6ft 3in, who was permitted to return to his crashed plane to claim his belongings, which included hair oil and a fur coat”.