For those of us who may not have remembered, today is Battle of Britain Day, the day in 1940 the battle swung decisively in favour of the UK, Commonwealth and Free European Allies. It’s a day to celebrate victory over Nazi Tyranny and to remember the sacrifice paid by all for our freedom & liberty.
It would also be wise to remember all those who came from overseas to defend us. When we as a nation stood alone, our allies and partners came from all over the world to our aid. Czecks and Canadians, Australians and Americans, Irish and Israelis, we thank you for your service and sacrifice.
The 2,342 British, 127 New Zealanders, 145 Polish, 112 Canadians, 88 Czechoslovakians, 32 Australians, 28 Belgians, 25 South Africans, 13 French, 10 Irish, 9 Americans, 3 South Rhodesians and one Jamaican, Barbadian and Israeli pilots were but the spearhead. There were countless all over the world who ensured victory who we also remember.
We will remember them, and what they died to keep us safe from. It is a time for joy and solemnity; the day Britain’s shores were made safe from invasion and potential subjugation. For some, the feeling can be hard to put into words. Having lived near to IWM Duxford and having had the pleasure of hearing its Spitfires and Hurricanes fly overhead many times, I agree and say the day sounds like a mix of Rolls Royce Merlin powered Spitfires and Ron Goodwin’s famous composition included below.
Happy Battle of Britain Day all