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An Audience with Dilip Sarkar MBE

July 6, 2019 at 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Join us for an exciting day of special talks by renowned Battle of Britain historian Dilip Sarkar MBE FRHistS and special guest aviation historian Andy Long.

On this day, Dilip’s latest book, Spitfire!, will be released – an extensive photographic chronicle of 19 Squadron during our Finest Hour.

Dilip’s first illustrated presentation, Spitfire Squadron, focuses firmly on 19 Squadron during the Dunkirk and Battle of Britain period, and especially on the people involved and their stories.

Andy Long will share with us in Defiant: The Forgotten Hero some of the unique material he has collected for his upcoming book exploring the often over-looked Boulton-Paul Defiant, focusing on the development and operation of the Defiant from 1939 until the end of 1940 and exploring its combat history during the Dunkirk campaign and the Battle of Britain. The conclusion of this fascinating presentation concerns the Defiant’s transition from day-fighter to night-fighter.

Dilip’s second presentation, I Knew the Few, is uniquely illustrated with photographs from the personal albums of a selection of Battle of Britain pilots Dilip enjoyed friendships with over many years.

Timetable for the day

10.00: Museum galleries open
11.00: ‘Spitfire Squadron‘ by Dilip Sarkar (1 hour)
12.00: Dilip will sign copies of his new book, Spitfire!

Lunch will be available in the Museum’s Cafe between 12.00-13.45. Please pre-book lunch when booking your ticket. Alternatively, homemade packed lunches can be consumed at our picnic area.

14.00: ‘Defiant: The Forgotten Hero‘ by Andy Long (1 hour)
15.00: Break
15.30: ‘I Knew The Few‘ by Dilip Sarkar (1 hour)
17.00: Museum closes


Admission on this day will be for pre-booked ticket holders only.

Day Ticket: £15
Day Ticket with Lunch included: £22

Lunch menu includes: mixed sandwich selection (Cheese & Pickle, Tuna Mayo & Sweetcorn, Brie & Cranberry, Egg & Cress), a choice of crisps, a choice of cake, tea, coffee or cordial. Please advise us of any dietary requirements by Friday 28th June.

The cafe will be open throughout the day for snacks, ice-creams and hot and cold drinks.

Please book your tickets online here, at Museum Reception or by calling 020 8950 5526.


About the Speakers

Dilip Sarkar MBE FRHistS

Dilip Sarkar’s lifelong obsession with the Battle of Britain and Spitfire fighter is on a very personal level, inspired by the human experience and casualties involved.

Well-known as a former police detective and driven historian, Dilip will release at Bentley Priory Museum his 38th book – Spitfire! – coming full-circle to completely re-write and update the story of 19 Squadron and Squadron Leader Brian Lane DFC, the subject of his first book (1990).

The author’s close friendship over many years with 19 Squadron’s Battle of Britain survivors enabled the collation of an unparalleled archive of memories and photographs; he also feels privileged to enjoy the full support and cooperation of casualties’ families. For him, ‘this is a special book, representing a very emotional personal journey’.

Made an MBE for ‘services to aviation history’ in 2003, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2006, Dilip has spoken on his passion and exhibited internationally, in addition to working in TV, radio and video. For more information please visit www.ourfinesthour.net.

Andy Long

Andy Long is a well-known aviation historian who has worked with Dilip Sarkar since the pair embarked on their respective research journeys in the early 1980s – when Andy was 14! The pair co-founded the former Malvern Spitfire Team, an innovative and visionary initiative highly respected for original research.

Author of The Faithful Few: Worcestershire’s Fighter Boys (Victory Books, 2007), Andy is currently working on a new book for publication by Pen & Sword, concerning the somewhat unsung two-seater Boulton-Paul Defiant fighter.


July 6, 2019
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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