Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Battle of, and for, Britain.

Between 10th July and 31st October 1940 a battle raged in the skies above Britain, mostly over England. Parts of the country were flattened by German blitz bombing, which is why the centres of some port towns and cities, for example Liverpool and Southampton, have so few ancient buildings.

During the 'Battle of Britain' the country was protected by "The Few",
'The Few' were 2,353 young men from Great Britain and 574 from overseas, pilots and other aircrew, who are officially recognised as having taken part in the Battle of Britain.

Each flew at least one authorised operational sortie with an eligible unit of the Royal Air Force or Fleet Air Arm during the period 10 July to 31 October 1940.

544 lost their lives during the period of the Battle, and these are marked by an asterisk (on The Battle of Britain Roll of Honour).

A further 791 were killed in action or died in the course of their duties before the wars end ...
In a speech to the House of Commons on 20th August 1940 Churchill praised these young men
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".
Some today would have us forget those times, and forget the astonishing and selfless bravery of those 2,927 men. Mrs Rigby can't forget, because she wasn't alive then, but she is very aware of the importance of those battles and is also aware of what might have happened to Britain had we lost the war.

Some say we are still fighting a battle for Britain, others say there's no point because politicians have surrendered our sovereignty to Europe. But, well, this is Britain after all, and we don't take kindly to takeover bids, no matter how subtle they may be.

So let's remember those brave Airmen, and their ground crews, and the men in the factories who worked long hours to make the planes, and the munitions workers who made the bombs and bullets. Let's also remember the men and women of the Civil Defence and all other non-combatants who 'did their bit' when called upon to protect this country from harm - and they did it without computers too!

We Rigbys would like to say, "Thank you," and would like to share these two videos.

This is a "Battle of Britain. Tribute to the Few" with music 'Conquest of Paradise' by Vangelis.

This is an extract from the film "Battle of Britain"

(P.S. Edited to add link to Roll of Honour)


James Higham said...

The day we don't remember these things is the day the country is lost.

richard said...

James, much as I disagree with warfare, what a noble display of courage! My old dad joined up when the average lifespan on Ops was 2 weeks and he knew it. God (if there IS a God) bless the lot, and that includes poor old Jerry, all those boys killed.

Witterings From Witney said...

Thank you Mrs. R for a most eloquent post to which I shall link tomorrow with a few thoughts of my own.

JuliaM said...

"The day we don't remember these things is the day the country is lost."

Hopefully, while people still do
these sorts of things (seen at Gadget's blog), the country is safe.