Veterans

'The Few' honoured with a 12ft sky-gazing statue at Biggin Hill Airport

Sir Winston Churchill's great-grandson has officially unveiled a sculpture of a Second World War pilot at Biggin Hill Airport, to commemorate the Battle of Britain. 

World War Two veterans gathered with Randolph Churchill and the Mayor of Bromley at the former RAF station for an event to honour all who fought so courageously to prevent Hitler's invasion of Britain. 

The Battle of Britain marked the victory of the RAF over the Luftwaffe and is seen as a crucial turning point in the war. 

At the time, RAF Biggin Hill was the base for the Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons scrambled to fight off the German attacks. 

Now a statue honouring those who took part has a home at the site. 

Randolph Churchill, great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, was invited to unveil the imposing 12ft statue of an airman seen looking to the sky. 

The sculpture, which had previously been on display at the Chelsea Flower Show, has moved to a permanent position alongside the Churchill Way entrance to Biggin Hill Airport.

Those at the unveiling were treated to a flying display by a Spitfire from the Heritage Hangar.

Strongest Link Statue Battle Of Britain Biggin Hill Airport CREDIT BFBS
The imposing sculpture had previously been on display at the Chelsea Flower Show.

In his speech, Randolph paid tribute to the men who so bravely flew into the night. 

He said: "This work evokes the glorious history of Biggin Hill which Churchill called his strongest link. 

"During the Battle Of Britain, Churchill knew that British freedom, indeed what he called the "cause of civilisation" depended on the skill and devotion of a few thousand airmen - The Few - that he so memorably celebrated are movingly evoked by this marvellous statue of the pilot scanning the sky and awaiting the call of duty." 

During the Second World War, the sight of a roaring Spitfire in the sky above Biggin Hill inspired thousands to join the Royal Air Force. 

Today, there aren't many eyewitnesses left to the Battle of Britain, which took place between July and October in 1940. 

However, 100-year-old Bomber Command veteran George Dunn remembers. 

Strongest Link Statue Battle Of Britain Biggin Hill Airport CREDIT BFBS
The sculpture honours all who fought so courageously to prevent Hitler's invasion of Britain.

Speaking at the sculpture's unveiling, he said: "When I used to see the Battle Of Britain, Spitfires and Hurricanes out there I thought, 'they're really something, these chaps out there', not realising how dangerous it was. 

"I did my training in Canada and when I came back, they were asking all the pilots what command they wanted to go in and nearly everybody said fighter command because they wanted to fly Spitfires or Hurricanes but, of course, at that time, Air Chief Marshall Harris was building up Bomber Command and nearly everybody got put into Bomber Command and that was it."