The Edmondson Blog

The Few

The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
Winston Churchill speaking to the House of Commons,
70 years ago today.

After he gave his historic speech, Violet Bonham-Carter wrote to Churchill saying, “[That sentence] will live as long as words are spoken and remembered. Nothing so simple, so majestic and so true has been said in so great a moment of human history.”

Nearly 3,000 men were awarded the Battle of Britain Clasp. Today, there are fewer than 70 alive.

The flyers were mostly British, with many more from the British Empire and Commonwealth, particularly New Zealand, Canada, Australia and South Africa, as well as exiles from many conquered European nations. In particular, there were several squadrons composed of men from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Belgium. Other countries supplying smaller numbers included France, Ireland and the USA. The total number of flyers killed in combat was 510.

0 Responses to “The Few”

Post a Comment

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog