09 November 2022
The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust has launched a comprehensive database offering researchers the opportunity to find detailed information on the Allied airmen who became known as ‘The Few’
The database has been developed from the extensive research carried out over several decades by the late Kenneth G Wynn, who died in May 2020, and can be viewed electronically at the National Memorial to the Few at Capel-le-Ferne, Kent.
Richard Hunting CBE, Chairman of the Trust, explained: “The foundation of the database is the research carried over many years by Ken Wynn, whose iconic book, Men of the Battle of Britain, first appeared in 1989, with a supplementary volume in 1992.
“A second edition came out in 1999 and after the rights to the book were donated to the Trust in 2010, a third edition was published in 2015 and a supplementary volume in 2020.
“Publishing constraints meant that Ken Wynn concentrated on the service careers of his subjects. The Trust, though, has been able to widen the range of information included considerably so that the database that incorporates Men of the Battle of Britain now reflects social as well as military history, with more information and photographs being added on an almost daily basis.”
The work of updating the information has been led by Geoff Simpson, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a contributor to Men of the Battle of Britain over many years and now consulting editor to the database.
Geoff is keen to acknowledge the ongoing contribution made to the research by a number of people, including Edward McManus (who curates the website bbm.org.uk), Gerry Burke and genealogist Gladys Armstrong.
The Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne is home to the National Memorial to the Few. The database will be housed in its Spitfire wing-shaped visitor centre, The Wing.
Find out more about the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust and the National Memorial to The Few at the Battle of Britain Memorial website.