On the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, personal memories from surviving veterans are captured on film
14 Sep 2010
Today, the Royal Mint, in association with the Battle of Britain Fighter Association and the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain by releasing a 12-minute long film that gives an insight into the lives of the heroes who fought and the challenges they faced. Five Battle of Britain veterans speak about this pivotal moment in history and how the events of those days have shaped their lives and the lives of all Britons ever since.
The Battle of Britain was the only battle ever to have been fought entirely in the air and it was a turning point of the Second World War. A handful of brave young pilots stood alone against the might of the enemy, outnumbered in both men and machines. 70 years ago these men fought against Hitler’s invading Luftwaffe – and won a battle that was crucial to Nazi defeat. Of the 2,936 pilots that took part, 544 died.
To mark the unveiling of the film and to recognise the enormous contributions of the veterans, the Royal Mint will present each of the five veterans featured in the film with a limited edition Battle of Britain 70th Anniversary Sterling silver £5 Alderney coin.
Dave Knight, Director of Commemorative Coin, at the Royal Mint said: "We are all indebted to the brave airmen who fought on our behalf and they deserve to be remembered. The Royal Mint is proud to be a part of the creation of this short film and we hope it will bring people closer to the history that has made our nation what it is today. We are honoured to be able to present these five veterans with a tribute to their determination and action. Without them, our country would probably not be the place that we know now.”
The Royal Mint recognises the importance of ensuring that current and future generations of Britons remember the Battle of Britain and the role it played in shaping British history. As such, the Royal Mint has launched a virtual memorial wall at www.celebratebritain.com where members of the public are encouraged to post a tribute about the contributions of their loved ones during the Battle of Britain. The Royal Mint will donate £1 to the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust’s Learning Centre Appeal for every person who posts a tribute on the virtual memorial wall, up to £10,000, between 3 September and 17 October.
The Learning Centre at Capel-le-Ferne will be designed as a living history resource that will use film, walk-through displays and modern technology to recreate the historic events of 1940, allowing people to experience what it was really like to have fought in the Battle of Britain.
Dave Knight said: "The Royal Mint is honoured to be supporting the Learning Centre Appeal and truly believes that the centre will provide a way for people to interact with our country’s past.”
To view the film, post a tribute or purchase a 70th anniversary coin, please visit www.celebratebritain.com . Coins can also be purchased by calling the Royal Mint Customer Services Team on 0845 60 88 222 (UK).