Battle of Britain 80

One year after opening, Biggin Hill Memorial Museum announces an ambitious public programme to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. From May to November 2020, the Museum will stage 80 public events focusing on Nostalgia, Remembrance and Legacy. In keeping with the museum’s ethos, the programme will remember these events of global significance through the rich personal stories of the people who lived and served at RAF Biggin Hill, the country’s most famous fighter station and Churchill’s “strongest link” during the Battle of Britain.

The commemorations will include a VE Day 1940s street party on Saturday 2nd May to mark 75 years since the end of WWII. There will be vintage vehicles, 1940s games, refreshments, a Make do and Mend stand, a 1940s hair and makeup stand amongst other activities. A temporary exhibition, Battle of Britain 80: 80 Days, 80 Objects, 80 Memories opens at the Museum on 10th July telling the story of the Battle of Britain through 80 objects and images.

Community events include an installation of 80,000 handmade poppies on the outside of St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance from 15th September. The poppies will be made by the community including Cadets, schools and local groups but we will need all the help available so please contact the Museum if you’d like to be part of this moving commemoration. Cooking the Books will explore wartime recipes from different aspects of WW2, such as catering in the services to a family cooking on rations. Each month the group will cook a dish together and the best recipes will be selected to create a small book produced for the Nightingale Café at the Museum.

Other events include Family History Workshops, a Summer of Spitfire Family Programme, Services in St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance and concerts marking the beginning and end of the Battle of Britain. Throughout the programme, there will be opportunities for visitors to meet World War 2 veterans and witnesses and to hear first-hand accounts of their experiences of life at RAF Biggin Hill, the Battle of Britain and VE Day.

Events

25 April 2020 – Battle of Britain Tour at Biggin Hill, 10.30 Ticketed

Join us on a tour to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

7 June 2020 – Back to the Forties: Big Band Concert, 2.30pm Ticketed

Join us for a fabulous Forties Concert featuring the University of Greenwich Big Band who will transport you back to the heady days and music of the 1940’s, performed in the iconic St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance.

We also need you to help us Knit and crochet 80,000 poppies

more events to be announced…

 

The Battle of Britain at Biggin Hill

Key information on the Battle of Britain at Biggin Hill

  • RAF Biggin Hill was a senior sector station and part of 11 Group.
  • This group protected London and the South-East from aerial attack and bore the heavy concentration of assaults by the German Luftwaffe.
  • The following squadrons took part in the Battle of Britain: 32, 72, 74, 79, 92, 141 and 610.
  • The station had endured ‘The Hardest Day’ on Sunday 18th August 1940, which was the hardest fought day of the Battle
  • The station had taken part in the battle on Sunday 15th September 1940, later known as the Battle of Britain Day. More than a thousand aircraft took part. At RAF Biggin Hill, 72 Squadron and 92 Squadron participated.
  • RAF Biggin Hill was proud to boast the three Military Medals won for bravery during air raids. WAAFs Sergeant Helen Turner, Corporal Elspeth Henderson and Sergeant Elizabeth ‘Joan’ Mortimer were all decorated. There was also a Military MBE for WAAF Felicity Peake.
  • At the close of the Battle, Biggin Hill’s score of enemy aircraft destroyed was just under 600. Winston Churchill described RAF Biggin Hill as ‘the Strongest Link’.  During this time, Group Captain Grice was to announce that ‘we never closed’.

Why not visit and learn more about the part played by these courageous men and women in the Battle of Britain. See more details on how to plan your visit to Biggin Hill Memorial Museum.

 

Press Release

Read our Press Release announcing our exciting public programme to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. From May to November 2020, the Museum will stage 80 public events focusing on Nostalgia, Remembrance and Legacy.

 

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