Remembering the Battle of Britain





While memories of the Battle of Britain remain fresh in the minds of The Few who flew, and the staff who supported them, veterans fear its significance could soon be forgotten by others.

Seventy years ago the RAF was locked in a life and death struggle with the Luftwaffe in the skies over England.

The three weeks between mid-August and early September in 1940 were decisive for the Battle of Britain.

The bravery of the RAF pilots was captured in Winston Churchill's speech on 20 August when he said "never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".

Those left of The Few, as those pilots became known, are now in their 90s. Some of them fear they will soon not be around to remind people of the events that summer.

Tom Neil was a 20-year-old Hurricane pilot during the battle. He was often scrambled four or five times a day, flying 141 times in all.

"As soon as the scramble order came, you'd have to get off the ground in three minutes," he said.

"You're concentrating like mad, looking for the enemy as you get above the clouds.

"The adrenaline is racing… flak is bursting all around you, everything was exciting.

"When you get back on the ground, you feel like a piece of chewed string. You think Christ, that was rather nasty."...



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