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The Few and the Forum.
Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:37pm

Hi Mark, Pip, John or whoever

Before we lose, what has been a marvellous source of information for events, news,gatherings of The Few, Anniversaries and books and tv documentaries, new Aircraft finds, information on pilots, the groundcrews, the WAAFS and all other fascinating topics we have exhausted on the forum, could anyone please tell me, how long the forum had been going and any high lights on its journey.

Maybe some anecdotes about past members or things the members here have acheived through the forum?

It just seems a shame to let this die, quietly without recognizing what we have had with this forum.

I do know that some will move onto the Facebook or other options. I probably will not be there and will take this opportunity to say how much a treasure trove this has been for ideas and making me realise the richness of our history.

Quite rightly, someone has posted about the Pride of Britain;The Few are the pride of Britain.

Churchill was a word-smith of great ability, his speech was in recognition of an event unprecedented in History, even today.

This is perhaps one of the finest and most famous speeches ever made: "The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen, who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

He went on to say:"All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day; but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power. On no part of the Royal Air Force does the weight of the war fall more heavily than on the daylight bombers, who will play an invaluable part in the case of invasion and whose unflinching zeal it has been necessary in the meanwhile on numerous occasions to restrain. " -

Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 20th August, 1940

This was Winston Chruchill's address to the House of Commons as the Battle of Britain (May-Oct 1940) was being won. He was applauding the bravery of pilots of the Royal Air Force (RAF), who through their courage and sacrifice were wresting control of the airspace over Britain and the English Channel from the Luftwaffe and making the invasion(Operation Sea Lion) all but impossible.

If the RAF had not succeeded, then the events later in the war would never have taken place. There would have certainly been no staging ground for an Allied Invasion of France (Operation Overlord,D-Day) in 1944. It is quite probable that Hitler would have controlled all of Europe and turned his attention towards America.

"The Few" came from all over the world:
1,790 from Britain
141 from Poland
88 from Canada
86 from Czechoslovakia
73 from New Zealand
21 from Australia
26 from Belgium
21 from South Africa
13 from France
8 from Ireland
7 from the United States
2 from Southern Rhodesia
1 from Israel

537 of whom were killed or wounded

As Dowding said to the survivors, (*very few who remain with us today) repeating Churchill`s eloquent speech and acknowledging their prowess in the battle for Britain, in saving the freedom we enjoy even today, and by way of saying goodbye to the Fighter Boys in his last letter:

My dear Fighter Boys,

In sending you this, my last message, I wish I could say all that is in my heart.

I cannot hope to surpass the simple eloquence of the Prime Ministers words: "Never before has so much been owed by so many to so few."

The debt remains and will increase.

In saying good-bye to you, I want you to know how continually you have been in my thoughts, and that, though our direct connection may be severed, I may yet be able to help you in your gallant fight.

Good-bye to you and God bless you all.

Air Chief Marshall Hugh Dowding

November 24th 1940

As Dowding said, the years have passed, fully 70 of them now, this debt we owe has increased and will grow longer, as we enjoy the years of Freedom those young men bought for us by their blood, by their struggles in hard turning combat and by the sacrifice of many, who would remain forever young.

When the Last of The Few has gone, I hope that we here, from this forum and the Society, will spread the word of what these men acheived, against all odds, in the dark days of 1940.

The Battle of Britain is over, the battle for remembering those who fought it will continue.

Best wishes and goodby to all I have corresponded with on here.

Paul Davies

Final, (final) post.

    • Paul DaviesKizzy, Wed Feb 23 9:28pm
      Paul, If Tich Palliser can join facebook, then so can you... come and join the fun - the facebook group is too quiet!!! Keep smiling Kizzy
      • For KizzyPaul Davies, Fri Feb 25 8:51am
        Hi Kizzy Sorry, but for the reasons above, namely attacks on me by some anonymous poster, I will decline, thank you. However that is not to say I will not bob in occasionally or perhaps find some... more
      • For KizzyPaul Davies, Wed Feb 23 10:49pm
        For dear Kizzy`s sake I may be pursuaded. I will see. I keep posting final posts! Then I make sure my manners are correct and that I have not missed someone either here or on private email;I have had ... more
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