Thursday, 3 September 2015

Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader.

This year being the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain has set me thinking once more of the bravery of the RAF fighter pilots of 1940.

 Winston Churchill was so right when he said "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

There are many things an Englishman can be proud of. The "Few" are surely Britain's greatest heroes. They were all heroes and many of them have incredible stories that have fascinated us over the years.

One man in particular is an inspiration to me. His name was Douglas Bader. His story is one of tremendous courage in the face of personal adversity and also of great bravery and leadership in the air. A true fighter pilot.

Some time ago I came across a model kit from Airfix. It was a special edition of their 1/48 Spitfire Mk.V with wings to make a Mk.Va. The mark five that did not have cannons, but instead carried machine guns, which is the armament that Bader preferred.

Also proceeds from the sale of this kit would go to the veteran charities RAFBF and HELP for HEROES.

I wanted to pay tribute to veterans and to Bader himself so I had a thought about how I could do that. In the end, I decided on building Bader's Mk.Va and displaying it on a base which commemorated the Battle of Britain and it's fallen heroes. The finished model depicts Bader walking away from his Spitfire through poppies which have spouted up from the landing field with the UK flag on the rear of the base.

I'll leave the last words to Group Captain Sir Doulas Bader CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar