Road named in honour of heroic pilot

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A road has been named after a heroic Second World War pilot who sacrificed his life to save others.

On May 10, 1941, the engine of Sergeant Bruce Smeaton’s plane failed near Cutsyke and he radioed his base to say he was baling out.

It is thought the 22-year-old realised he was flying over houses so tried direct it away from them before ejecting – but crashed in the process.

Former Cutsyke First School caretaker John Booth and chairwoman of Cutsyke Community Group Rheta Davison have led the efforts to name what has been known as the Glasshoughton Coalfields link road as Bruce Smeaton Way.

Ms Davison said: “This was about paying tribute to a young man who was faced with making the decision which by saving so many ended up with him losing his life.

“Bruce Smeaton was a hero, and having the road named after him was the best accolade anyone could give him.”

It was officially named by the leader of Wakefield Council, Coun Peter Box along with children from Ackton Pastures Primary School on Friday.

Coun Box said: “I am very pleased that we are able to honour Sgt Smeaton in this way and ensure his name and legacy lives on in the Castleford community.

“As we approach Armed Forces Day this serves to remind us of the sacrifices and outstanding contribution our armed forces make to this country, now and in the past.”

The road has been open for several years and was referred to as the Glasshoughton Coalfields link road, but it has never formally been named until now.

Along with the pupils, Coun Box, Ms Davison and Mr Booth were joined at the ceremony by Flt Lt Robert Moore from RAF Linton-on-Ouse and Coun Jackie Speight.