A parish council wants to find the landowner of a site on which a wartime memorial is situated.

North Weald Bassett Parish Council is enquiring about a memorial next to a tree by the parking area in Hampden Close, North Weald.

At the foot of the tree is a plaque dedicated to the memory of nine members of the Essex Regiment who lost their lives whilst guarding North Weald Airfield on August 24, 1940.

Their shelter received a direct hit during a German air raid; the tree still bears the marks from the blast.

Originally constructed in 1916, North Weald Airfield played a large role in the Battle of Brain. By the end of the Second World War 20 squadrons of Spitfire and Mustang fighter aircraft were based at the airfield.

In the attack which killed the nine young privates, the Luftwaffe dropped more than 200 bombs on the airfield.

The council is seeking information about the owner of land or custodian of the tree to ensure that the memorial is maintained and preserved.

The memorial was dedicated in August 2010.

Anyone with any information, history or information that may assist the council is asked to contact parish clerk Susan De Luca on 01992 523825 or by emailing clerk@northweald-pc.gov.uk