Battle of Britain Fighter Pilots should be awarded knighthoods for their heroism.

That is the view of Ken Shuttleworth, from Bricket Wood, who has sent an e-petition to the House of Commons asking for the pilots who are still alive to be given the honour.

The 89-year-old, who grew up during World War Two, believes the knighthood should not only be in recognition of the remaining pilots but also their former comrades.

In the e-petition, Mr Shuttleworth wrote: “Today, I believe, there are only four Battle of Britain Fighter Pilots still alive and I would like to see them all awarded with knighthoods in memory of their heroism and that of all their comrades.

“Fighter Pilots from other (occupied) European countries also took part in the Battle of Britain, any still alive today should be equally considered and given honorary knighthoods.”

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain when outnumbered Fighter Pilots of the RAF defeated the German Lutwaffe.

Mr Shuttleworth, who was eight years old when the Second World War started, believes that if the pilots had not won the battle the Nazi’s would have won the war.

The e-petition continues: “If the pilots had not won that battle Germany would almost certainly have succeeded in invading Britain and we would have lost the war. Today we would still be under Nazi domination, as also would the rest of Europe.

“Knighthoods were originally introduced to recognise and reward the valour of warriors. It would be fitting, if at this time, we remembered that and appointed some real heroes to their ranks.”

Just before Christmas one of the last surviving pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain died at the age of 101.

Flight Lieutenant Maurice Mounsdon, who died on Friday, December 6, 2019 was one of only four remaining members of The Few - a group of 3,000 airmen who defended Britain’s skies for three-and-a-half months.

Head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, said Mr Mounsdon's bravery should never be forgotten.

Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill also recognised the bravery and sacrifice of the pilots during the Battle of Britain.