Friday Morning Talks: ‘The Wreck Hunter: Battle of Britain & the Blitz’
10 July at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Join us for a Friday Morning Talk by Melody Foreman, and discover the world of Battle of Britain archaeology!
As a boy living near RAF Fighter Command’s famous Biggin Hill airfield in 1940 Terry Parsons’ had a death-defying encounter with a hail of bullets from a low flying Dornier 17. It was this haunting experience that led him as a young man in the 1960s to begin a lifetime’s search for forgotten Spitfires, Hurricanes, Defiants, Beaufighters, Me109s, Dorniers and Heinkels which had fallen from the skies.
Now regarded as a pioneer in the field of aviation archaeology Terry has dug more than 900 RAF and Luftwaffe aircraft from the countryside and back gardens of southern England.
This illustrated talk about his inspiring and dedicated work in honour of ‘The Few’ and ‘The Many’ is presented by Melody Foreman MCIJ – author of ‘The Wreck Hunter’ – Terry’s compelling and heart-felt story of discovery and revelation.
The audience will learn how artefacts recovered from crash sites are major historical and significant reminders of an airborne conflict easily on a scale of importance as Trafalgar or Waterloo. For example we find out how a bent machine gun from the wreck of Oblt Lt Ulrich Steinhilper’s Me109, a piece of shattered perspex from Pilot Officer George Corbett’s Spitfire, or even a shoe once belonging to Polish fighter ace Marian Pisarek found in a crumpled Hurricane cockpit, all offer us striking evidence of the personal and most significant stories of the aircrews of 1940.
Loaded with social history, compelling stories, and full of rare and exclusive interviews with the families of the pilots, the talk will also include tales of the heartening times when several members of ‘The Few’ joined Terry on a dig to help find the Spitfire or Hurricane they had perilously baled out of during the heat of the Battle. Among them were the awesome and much missed Squadron Leader Tony Pickering and Group Captain Tom Gleave CBE – archivist of the Battle of Britain Memorial and founding member of The Guinea Pig Club.
By Melody Foreman
Included in Museum admission or Annual Membership. Advance booking required.