Darren Baker takes a look at ‘Men of the Battle of Britain a Supplementary Volume’ a Frontline book courtesy of Pen and Sword.

Introduction

The following introduction is provided by Pen and Sword:

Since it was first published in1989, Men of the Battle of Britain, the complete third edition of which was published in 2015, has become a standard reference book for academics and researchers interested in the Battle of Britain. This remarkable publication records the service details of every airman who took part in the Battle of Britain, and who earned the Battle of Britain Clasp, in considerable detail. Where known, an individual’s various postings and their dates are included, as are promotions, decorations, and successes claimed whilst flying against the enemy. There is also much personal detail, often including dates and places of birth, civilian occupations, dates of death and place of burial or, for those with no known grave, place of commemoration. There are many wartime head-and-shoulders photographs.

Inevitably, the passage of time ensures that there is a constant re-evaluation of the wealth of information contained within Men of the Battle of Britain. At the same time, since the 2015 edition it has been possible to expand many individual entries, some 330 in total, to give some idea of the wider social context around the aircrew who earned the Battle of Britain Clasp. This has been achieved by reference to existing sources, including information supplied by The Few themselves and their relatives over many years, as well as new research.

This invaluable supplement to the 2015 edition ensures that these additions and revisions are available to all researchers, historians, enthusiasts and general readers.

Review

This offering is a hard backed book of 136 pages. The paper is a good quality gloss paper and it is stitched into the book, something I consider a sign of quality. Kenneth G Wynn has been given the authors credits for this release and it has been written in association with the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust CIO. The information presented in this title is provided in an alphabetical format.

The text is well presented and provides a good deal of information previously unavailable in one place if available at all. For those of us interested in World War 2 and specifically the Battle of Britain this book represents along with the previous title a one stop source of information on those who took part in this battle on the British side.

The information provided is a great source for finding out who served where and when. The aircraft they flew and in too many cases the specific aircraft that died flying and where and when it crashed. There are a good number of military cemeteries around me and I have been looking through this book to find where air crew are buried or their memorial is in order that I can visit them, give them a few moments of thought and know some of the history of that person that helps bring you a little closer to the FEW.

Conclusion

This book provides the modeller with written information on the people who fought on the British side of the Battle of Britain. Visual information is restricted to photographs and line drawings of these people and so it brings home the young age of those that are now all gone. For those reading this book it enables you to know some of what these people achieved in life and for those able to visit their resting place to know something of them.

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