BMMHS Evening Meeting: Who were The Few ?

Who were The Few ?

Speaker: Geoff Simpson

Wednesday 9th November; 7:30pm

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BMMHS Meeting Venue

Woodcote Village Hall, Reading Road, Woodcote, RG8 0QY

Who were The Few ?

Geoff will discuss the wartime moves to recognise the Allied airmen who flew in the Battle of Britain, the announcement, in 1945, of the “immediate” award of the 1939-1945 Star with Battle of Britain Clasp and the subsequent decade and a half of adjustments to the definition of who qualified. He will outline the research into who qualified – a new name was officially added to the list as recently as 2020 by the Air Historical Branch (RAF) – as well as the current expansion of the entries in the standard work of reference, Men of the Battle of Britain, and the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust’s aircrew database, to include much more information on the social backgrounds and civilian careers of the Few. The talk will be enlivened with anecdotes about the men who flew against the Luftwaffe in the summer and autumn of 1940.

Battle of Britain
THE SECOND WORLD WAR 1939 - 1945: THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN JULY-SEPTEMBER 1940 (GER 18) Bombs falling away from a Junkers Ju-87 Stuka dive-bomber. The photograph appears to have been taken from a following aircraft. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:
Stanford Tuck
A photograph, much used in wartime propaganda, of a Spitfire formation led by Tuck in the nearest machine. This "copybook" formation continues with Brian Kingcombe, George Proudman, Gordon Olive, Nicky Nicholas and Sergeant McPherson (Photo: Charles E. Brown)
Battle of Britain
THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN 1940 (HU 49253) Operations: Pilots seen running to their aircraft. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

About the speaker - Geoff Simpson

Geoff has studied the Battle of Britain since the 1980s, including interviewing, talking to and corresponding with several hundred of The Few.

His books include, A History of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association: Commemorating The Few. Since 2010 he has produced nearly 1000 new and re-written entries for the standard work of reference, Men of the Battle of Britain by Kenneth G Wynn.

Geoff was a trustee of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust (custodian of the National Memorial to the Few) from 2000 to 2015 and the Trust’s historical consultant until 2017.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a member of the RAF Historical Society and an honorary member of the Pen and Sword Club for military and Ministry of Defence communications specialists.

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