Posted: Tue 4th Oct 2022

The “Wales and the Battle of Britain” touring exhibition arrives in Flintshire

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 4th, 2022

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The “Wales and the Battle of Britain” Touring Exhibition which celebrates the 80 year anniversary of the major military campaign fought entirely by air forces has arrived in Flintshire. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Flintshire County Council and Aura are hosting the exhibition as part of the nationwide commemorations marking an important chapter in the history of the Second World War. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Battle of Britain took place over the skies of the UK between 10 July and 31 October 1940 and involved 2,947 Aircrew including Pilots, Observers, Air Gunners and Wireless Operators. 544 were killed in action and aircrafts involved included the iconic Spitfire, Hurricane, Blenheim, Beaufighter, Defiant and Gladiator. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Although the tour commemorates all those who fought in the Battle, the main focus is on the Welsh aircrew who fought, telling of their stories and heroism to a modern Welsh audience. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Visitors to the exhibition will learn about the importance of Welsh bases such as RAF Hawarden which trained Spitfire Pilots. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Chair of Flintshire County Council, Councillor Mared Eastwood, said: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I am extremely proud that the Wales and the Battle of Britain 80th anniversary exhibition is in Flintshire, allowing our residents of all ages to come along and find out more about what happened in the skies during wartime and to pay their respects to the Fallen and to those who eventually returned home to their loved ones.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Back row- L – R Warrant Officer Barry Seal (RAF Air Cadets), Andy Liston (Airbus), Tony Fish (Reserve Forces and Cadets Association), Neal Cockerton (CEO Flintshire County Council), Lord Barry Jones, Air Commodore Williams, Zoe Henderson High Sheriff Clwyd, Steve Swift (Airbus), Councillor David Evans Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Ian Roberts – Leader of the Council Next row George Rogerson (North Wales district Chairman Royal British Legion) Lady Janet Jones, Adrian Leslie (Royal British Legion), Cllr Mared

Councillor David Evans, Armed Forces Champion, said: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“As Armed Forces Champion for Flintshire County Council and a veteran, it is a privilege to see this exhibition in Flintshire. ” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We have a long history of links to the RAF. It is a time to remember, reflect and pay our respects to those who gave so much for their country.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The Battle of Britain, the largest air battle ever recorded, was one of the most pivotal and iconic moments in the history of this country.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“It marked a turning point of the Second World War when Britain stood alone against Hitler’s seemingly unstoppable military power.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Air Commodore Adrian Williams, Air Officer Wales, the senior RAF officer in Wales said: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I’m delighted that the Wales and the Battle of Britain Historical Exhibition is here in Flintshire. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The exhibition tells the untold story from a Welsh perspective including information on how RAF stations in Wales, together with local communities across Wales, all contributed to victory in 1940. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“During the summer of 1940, the people of Britain were bracing themselves for a German invasion, but before this could happen their leader first had to gain air superiority. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The Luftwaffe, which consisted of 2,600 aircraft, launched a large-scale attack, intent on wiping out Britain’s air defences – a Royal Air Force Fighter Command of 640 aircraft. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The RAF pilots, who became known as ‘The Few,’ stood up to wave after wave of German fighters and bombers, sending a clear message to the enemy that Britain would never surrender. The RAF had 3,000 pilots serving with Fighter Command, with an average age of 20. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Although RAF Fighter Command was outnumbered in July 1940, Britain ramped up factory production and by October the same year, Fighter Command had more fighter planes than the Luftwaffe.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The RAF claimed victory in the skies in October 1940 and Hitler called off his invasion plans. Wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill famously said: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Mike Welch, Chief Executive at Aura Leisure, added: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We, at Aura, are proud to have been chosen as the venue for this exhibition and are delighted to help commemorate those who served in the Battle of Britain and honour our Armed Forces Community.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“This exhibition will be the perfect opportunity for the many people of Flintshire to remember the heroism and the contribution of local people.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Chair of the Council joined Air Commodore Williams to open The Wales and the Battle of Britain Historical anniversary exhibition at Deeside Library at Deeside Leisure Centre on Monday 3 October 2022.  The exhibition is open daily from 9am to 6pm until Friday 7 October. Admission is FREE. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​



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