The Battle of Britain was a story of bravery in summer skies as Churchill’s ‘Few’ took on the might of the Luftwaffe to defend these shores and prevent Hitler’s planned invasion. Over 16 weeks of high drama in the summer and early autumn of 1940, RAF Fighter Command battled to prevent the enemy achieving aerial supremacy.
Consequently, Britain remained in the war, a crucial base from where, with American help, the liberation of Nazi occupied Europe could be launched in June 1944. Understandably, the Battle of Britain has become a crucially important event in the national narrative, continuing to fascinate and inspire over 80 years on.
Much has been written about the RAF pilots from all over the globe who defeated the Nazi forces in the aerial battle that raged from 10 July to 31 October of that year. The Battle of Britain story, though, is much wider than the air battles and those who fought them. RAF Bomber, Coastal and Training Commands also played their parts, as did the army, navy, Observer Corps, emergency services and those engaged in vital war production work.
While many stories have been told, there are other tales that have remained untold – until now. Tales of ground crew, of volunteers, of factory workers and family members who ‘did their bit’ on the ground while the fighters tackled the threat in the air.
Renowned author and historian Dilip Sarkar’s mission is to track down and tell those stories as part of a comprehensive, seven-volume history of arguably the most important battle fought by this country in the whole of the 20th century.
He is looking for anecdotes and family stories that highlight the bravery, the sacrifice and the determination shown by those who may not have flown a Spitfire or Hurricane but were an integral part of the Battle of Britain.
Battle of Britain: The People’s Project is a partnership between the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust and the publisher, Pen & Sword.
If you have a story to tell, perhaps one handed down from a grandparent, or if you have an artefact from the battle that’s been passed down through the generations, please get in touch using the form below. We’ll respect any requests for confidentiality and will be in touch with you before using any material you submit.
“There are many amazing stories about the Battle of Britain and the people who fought it, but I am certain there are many more stories out there that deserve to be told. The Battle of Britain was an incredible part of this nation’s history and I want this work to be as comprehensive and inclusive as possible.”
Dilip Sarkar MBE FRHistS