Aims of the Society
The Battle of Britain Society is not so much a club where members meet each week or month, or organise weekly excursions or have competitions competing against each other. Those establishments are better known as social clubs. The Society is an organisation where its main aim is to uphold and perpetuate the memory of those personnel that in some way were associated with that period in which they fought and died for a free world, free of domination, free of dictatorship and in an effort to do what they could to give the generations of today a world free of nazism.
Today, nearly all western countries live in a world of twentieth century technology, democratic rights, a high standard of living and most important of all.....freedom. The world may not be perfect, it never will be, but just take time out for one moment and think, what if Germany had claimed victory in the Second World War, what sort of lifestyle would we be able to enjoy today? Would we have the technology that we have today, would we live in a world where we can exercise our democratic rights, would we enjoy the the high standard of living that is a part of todays way of life, would you have been able to turn on your computer and make contact with anybody in the world? Of course we will never know because Germany did not claim victory, but the odds are.....if they had been victorious, most of us would be living life in the dark, without freedom and without any form of democracy.
We will continue to uphold the request that they made to ensure that the Battle and "The Few" will never be be lost into oblivion....
Todays democracy gives us a lifestyle of choice, our way of life is now of our own choosing. Todays Germany, because of the allied victory is a friendly Germany, even the military forces of Britain and Germany can now work together, and we can praise the fact that Britain was not occupied by German invasion forces in 1940. Britain, if given Germany the chance to invade the small island would never have been able to hold the German forces out. For Germany to succeed, they had to destroy Britain's Royal Air Force because of one natural form of defence.....the English Channel.
The fact that a German invasion did not succeed is owed to 2,927 Royal Air Force pilots and aircrew and the thousands of ground staff that made their task possible. They fought the worlds mightiest air force at the time....the Luftwaffe. RAF Fighter Command, with an understrength number of aircraft, an understrength number of pilots and airfields that were under constant attack. Many of the pilots were inexperienced placed in the front line of combat duty with only a minimum number of hours training on fighter aircraft. Many of the more experienced pilots had either been killed or towards the end were suffering sheer exhaustion. But they never gave up, with courage and determination they wore down the German Luftwaffe to a point of demoralization, the young men of Fighter Command suddenly, towards the end of October 1940 cleared the skies of the invader. The daytime skies over southern England were once again empty, as the German air force realized that they could not now attempt any invasion of Britain, gave up and retreated to turn their attention to the Russian front.
The combined allies may have claimed victory in the Second World War, but this may not have been possible had it not been for the remarkable effort of those 2,927 men of Fighter Command and their supporting ground crews, who alone defeated the enemy and won the Battle of Britain. We owe these young men for this victory, we owe all those who participated in the greatest air battle of all time, that achieved victory against all odds. We owe them so much, that their courageous deeds should never be forgotten, as long as we live, as long as our children and their children live. Their acts of bravery and the success that they achieved should be learnt by all, it is a part of todays modern history, moreso because these men that we owe so much to are our fathers, and our grandfathers and their efforts must never be lost in our memory.
The aim of the Battle of Britain Society is to keep this memory alive, to teach todays generation, and in some cases yesterdays generation about this important event in modern history. Ask many students in the last ten to fifteen years "what was the Battle of Britain?" and they would have no idea, they know of Caesar's victorious campaigns in Roman times, they have learnt about the American Civil War, but they no nothing of the Battle of Britain because it was not taught in schools. The Society is endeavoring to encourage the teaching of the Battle of Britain as a part of modern history, as well as lectures and talks, and with the aid of the internet the work of the Society is now being accepted in todays society.
The care and maintenance of many military graves is also a top priority, especially many of those that have lacked any proper care, some because of lack of funds by families, others because families have lost interest. The Society feels that it is their duty to care for the last resting place of those that gave so much. Now the Society has plans for a large monument on the Victoria Embankment alongside the River Thames where details of the progress so far is published elsewhere on this website.
Finally, many of those that fought are still alive. Some just love to share with others the experiences, the near misses and the feeling of just what it was like flying in aerial combat high over Kent and London, while others have decided to keep their memories locked away behind closed doors. Whatever their thoughts on the Battle of Britain, they are now getting older, and some just need company and others just a little care. It is the duty of the Society to look after them, because whatever their need, we owe then so much.
But, to achieve all that needs to be done, to help those that still survive, to maintain and care for the graves scattered in all commonwealth countries of the world, to lecture and give talks wherever it is possible and above all to keep the memory of the Battle of Britain alive, is all done through the aid of the Societies membership. The stronger this membership, the more that can be done, and of course the support that the Society receives from its sponsors goes a long way in achieving the ultimate goal of the Society.
The Aims of the Battle of Britain Historical Society
TO perpetuate the memory of the Battle of Britain. Now and for future generations.
"I regard it as a privilege to fight for all those things that make life worth living - freedom, honour and fair play"
Pilot Officer William "Bill" Millington Australian 79 & 249 Squadrons Fighter Command