The first person to fly the English Channel in an aeroplane was a Frenchman called Louis Blériot. The flight took place on 25 July 1909 and won Blériot a prize of £1,000 from the Daily Mail. An earlier attempt five days earlier, by Englishman Herbert Latham, had ended when he had ditched in the sea.Blériot, a motorcar headlamp manufacturer, had injured his foot and walked to his plane with the aid of crutches. He took off at 4.37am and, guided by smoke from a French destroyer, he spotted St Margaret’s Bay. Turning towards Dover he was caught by the wind and made a crash landing in Northfall Meadow, behind the Castle, breaking the undercarriage and propeller. The whole journey had taken 20 minutes. A memorial in the form of a stone silhouette of Blériot’s plane is set into the ground at the place where he landed.