Battle of Britain aircrew artefacts, medals and portaits on display

The Few: Battle of Britain Aircrew

During the Battle of Britain, the defence of Britain depended heavily on the courage of fewer than 3,000 British & Allied aircrew. Had the battles not been won in the skies above Britain, invasion by Nazi Germany would have been likely.

‘Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few’.
British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill

Bentley Priory Museum tells the important and moving stories of ‘The Few’, through the display of photographs, medals and artefacts relating to the aircrew, including log-books.

Battle of Britain aircrew medals and photographs on display at the Museum During the Battle of Britain, sixteen different nationalities flew and fought together against the German Luftwaffe.  This diversity is represented in the Museum, with artefacts of British aircrew hanging alongside those of pilots from Poland, Czechoslovakia, New Zealand and Canada.

Aircrew Database

Visitors answering questions on the interactive quiz A database of Battle of Britain aircrew is available to explore at the Museum, with a short biography and photographs for each individual.

The database currently has over 150 aircrew, and will continue to develop until the story of every Battle of Britain aircrew is told on it.

 The Few & Bentley Priory 

2012 Battle of Britain Commemorative Dinner at Bentley Priory
2012 Battle of Britain Commemorative Dinner at Bentley Priory

Annual dinners for Battle of Britain veterans were held at Bentley Priory, until 2010, when the renovation work at Bentley Priory proved too dangerous for the dinner to be held.

The Story of The Few: Battle of Britain Lace Panel

Photograph of The Battle of Britain Lace Panel, taken from the Grand Staircase at Bentley Priory MuseumThe story of the Battle of Britain and ‘The Few’ is further told at the Museum through it’s largest artefact on display, the Battle of Britain Lace Panel.

The panel depicts important Battle of Britain scenes, from the German bombing of London, to the aircraft, pilots and Allied Nations which fought. The panels were presented to individuals, organisations and places with significant connections to the Battle of Britain, including Bentley Priory.

Guided by photographs of the Battle of Britain, the panels took 2 years to design. 40,000 individually punched cards were used to create the jacquard for the pattern, and 26,000 miles of Egyptian cotton was used for each panel.