Tag: Dilip Sarkar MBE

Guest Post: Dilip Sarkar MBE – Letters From The Few: Unique Memories of the Battle of Britain

Fascinated by the Battle of Britain from an early age, as a young man I realised that recording and sharing the Few’s memories was of paramount importance. At the time, back in the mid-1980s, membership of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association was well populated and the then Honorary Secretary, the now late Wing Commander Pat Hancock, supported my research by forwarding letters to individual pilots of interest. These included a wide-range of personalities, from famous airmen like Group Captain Peter Townsend and Air Marshal Sir Denis Crowley-Milling to the ‘also rans’, as Battle of Britain Hurricane pilot Peter Fox famously described himself and peers. Indeed, it was Peter’s ‘also rans’ that were of greatest interest to me, having recognised that whilst many famous and distinguished pilots had either published personal memoirs or had biographies written about them, lesser-lights had no platform to record and share their experiences. This I became dedicated to resolving.

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Meet the author: Dilip Sarkar MBE FRHistS

Driven by his passion to research and share the stories of casualties, and record the human experience of war, Dilip Sarkar MBE is a best-selling author whose work is highly regarded globally. In this Q&A Dilip, tells us more about his upcoming books! 

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Guest Post: Dilip Sarkar MBE – Arnhem 1944: The Human Tragedy of the Bridge Too Far….

2019 saw two major Second World War Anniversaries: the 75th anniversary of D-Day and that of the largest airborne operation ever mounted, MARKET-GARDEN, Field Marshal Montgomery’s audacious plan for British, American and Polish airborne troops to seize the bridges over the rivers Maas, Waal and Rhine, and hold them pending relief from advancing ground forces. The plan was to bypass the fortified Siegfried Line and enter Germany through the back door, quickly occupying the enemy’s Ruhr industrial area – and end the war by Christmas 1944…

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Guest Post: Dilip Sarkar MBE – Squadron Leader Brian Lane DFC and Spitfire!

Squadron Leader Brian Lane DFC and Spitfire!

On 21 September 1940, Flying Officer Stanley Devon, an award-winning press photographer whose services the Air Ministry had officially engaged, visited Squadron Leader Douglas Bader’s 242 Squadron at the Duxford Sector Station, taking air-to-air pictures from a Blenheim of the swashbuckling, legless, ace leading his Wing. Afterwards, Devon took many photographs of 19 and 616 Squadron’s Spitfires and personnel at Duxford’s Fowlmere satellite – superb images recording fighter squadrons at the height of the epic Battle of Britain.

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Guest Post: Dilip Sarkar MBE – Battle of Britain 1940: The Finest Hour’s Human Cost

As I write, the world is in turmoil owing to a new disease, which nobody, at least in the western world, had heard of until only a few weeks ago. Today, we have all, surely, heard of the dreadful Coronavirus and are affected by it, at best, through the essential ‘social distancing’ measures and current ‘lockdown’, and at worst, tragically, losing a loved one to this lethal virus. Desperate times indeed, an altogether new ‘Darkest Hour’, which, apart from a selfish and irresponsible minority, the nation is facing with courage and collective resolve. At this terrible time, good news seems in short supply – and yet, amidst all this fear and uncertainty, earlier this week I watched the most heart-warming and uplifting BBC TV interview of one Hylton Murray-Philipson, a sixty-one-year old who, after twelve days in Leicester Royal Infirmary, had beaten the dreaded Coronavirus and now revelled in the sheer joy of being alive, in the process giving thanks and paying tribute to the kind, caring, professional and courageous NHS staff to whom he owed everything. Mr Murray-Philipson, in fact, likened these wonderful people, professionals and volunteers, to ‘the Spitfire pilots of 1940’ – which rather resonated with me in this, the Battle of Britain’s 80th anniversary year. This inspirational interview can be watched here.

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