In a divisive world, it is so easy to forget the men and women at home and abroad, who sacrificed so much to keep safe, the domestic and international freedoms that made Britain the country that it is, or perhaps was…
15th September is Battle of Britain Day: why ? Because on that hugely significant day in 1940, the most decisive aerial confrontation of the war took place in the skies above South-East England.
RAF Fighter Command claimed victory over the Luftwaffe after large numbers of enemy aircraft were destroyed. Allied losses were much lighter than usual. Two days later, it was clear that Adolf Hitler had abandoned his ‘Operation Sealion’. The Germans continued to attack England from the air, but their raids were never again on the same scale.
Many of you may recall the wonderful voice of the BBC commentator Raymond Frederic Baxter OBE. It is fitting and poignant to report that he passed away at the age of 84, at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, on this day 15th September 2006. Raymond presented BBC Radio coverage for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation as well as the funerals of King George VI, Sir Winston Churchill and Lord Mountbatten. It is perhaps less well known that during the Second World War, Raymond Baxter was a fighter pilot and flew Spitfires. Here he is describing the magnificent machine which was an intrinsic element of the Battle of Britain.