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A History of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association (Hardback)


By Geoff Simpson, Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781781593875
Published: 4th February 2015



As seen in...

The Manchester Evening News, Stockport Express, Stockport Times and the Sale and Altrincham Messenger

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In 1945 it was announced that Allied airmen who had taken part in the Battle of Britain in 1940 would be entitled to the “immediate” award of the 1939-1945 Star, with Battle of Britain Clasp. This was the only Clasp awarded with the 1939-1945 Star.

In the following years holders of the Clasp held informal get-togethers. In 1958 the Battle of Britain Fighter Association (BBFA) was formed, with full membership only available to holders of the Battle of Britain Clasp. Lord Dowding was the first President. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother became Patron. That post is now held by HRH The Prince of Wales.

As well as organising reunions and providing some welfare assistance to members and widows, the Association has played a key role in researching entitlement to the Clasp and pronouncing on claims for the Clasp. A considerable part of the knowledge existing today on these matters came from the work of successive BBFA archivists, the late Group Captain Tom Gleave and the late Wing Commander John Young.

The Association has also become closely associated with the Battle of Britain thanksgiving service held every September in Westminster Abbey.

The Association's archives are held in part by the Secretary of the BBFA, Group Captain Patrick Tootal and in part by the Air Historical Branch, RAF (AHB) at RAF Northolt.

Geoff Simpson has now been invited by the Association to use these archives as the basis of a book on the history of the organisation.

The book explains the background to the award of the Battle of Britain Clasp in 1945. It also details many of the ways in which The Few, a name for the airmen taken from a speech by Winston Churchill, are commemorated.

Stockport Express

As featured on.

BBC Radio Kent

As featured in.

Manchester Evening News

A History of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association: Commemorating The Few, tells the story of the exclusive body of which only Fighter Command aircrew, who qualified for the 'immediate' award of the 1939-1945 Star with Battle of Britain Clasp, may be full members.

The Old Askean

An enjoyable read.

Suppressing Fire

This book is rammed with much useful information that makes it 'a must have' for RAF history enthusiasts and medal collectors alike.

Classic Arms and Militaria

A thoughtful foreword by the Fighter Association's Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales sums up the part that The Few hold for those who grew up during WWII and in the years following. The author has written from the basis of access to the Fighter Association's archives. The resulting book is one that should be read by all Britons, but the Battle of Britain included pilots from across the Empire, from those countries overrun by the German Nazis and pilots from Ireland and the United States. It was a unique battle that produced a unique and inspiring story that will endure. Highly Commended.

FIRE Reviews

As featured in

Pen and Sword Club
 Geoff Simpson

About Geoff Simpson

Geoff Simpson is a freelance writer who has studied the RAF in the Second World War for many years. His previous books for Pen and Sword are Guy Gibson: Dam Buster (2013) and A History of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association: Commemorating the Few (2015).
Geoff is Historical Consultant to the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, edits the magazine 1940 for the Trust and is a member of the Royal Historical Society. He is married with two adult children and lives in Hazel Grove near Stockport.

Perfect Partner

Dowding & Churchill The Dark Side of the Battle of Britain (Hardback)

Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh – later Lord – Dowding was one of the greatest Englishmen of the 20th century. He created Fighter Command with its unique early warning system (radar) from nothing in 1936 to the efficient defensive force it became in 1940. In consequence Fighter Command was the only arm that was properly prepared for battle when war was declared against Germany. Hugh Dowding led Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain, and was victorious. The campaign, although a series of defensive engagements, was one of the decisive battles of Western Civilization. The strategic importance of…

By Jack Dixon

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