From July to September 1940 the Battle of Britain raged between the German Luftwaffe and British forces, the first major campaign fought entirely in the air. Today, the bravery and achievements of Second World War RAF veterans has been marked by the launch of an online 1940s-style newspaper, breaking daily news of Britain at war seven decades on.
Real news reports and fictional diaries based on historical fact will be published daily at the 1940Chronicle.com for the next three months. The initiative, which targets the younger generation via Facebook and Twitter, was launched by air force welfare charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund (RAFBF), in a bid to educate young people about the world’s most sustained aerial bombing campaign to date.
Battle of Britain Hurricane pilot Bob Foster, one of the veterans consulted ahead of the website’s launch, said: “It’s so important that young people remember what we were fighting for back then. The life that they are living would have been very different if we had not succeeded.”
In a recent poll, just 43 per cent of British youngsters (aged 16 to 25) were aware that the Battle of Britain took place in 1940, while more than a third of those surveyed were unsure of the reason why the battle was fought. However, 81 per cent of those asked expressed a real interest in learning more.
The 1940Chronicle.com, launching today at the Biggin Hill Air Fair’s youth day, where a thousand teenagers will be able to meet five veteran pilots, will address this need in order to “engage the wider public in the story of the Battle of Britain and remind everyone of the huge debt of gratitude we owe to those who fought for our freedom,” Dean Benton, director of marketing and communications at RAFBF, said.
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