Remembering The Few, organised by Swindon Heritage as part of the national commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, will see the Battle of Britain memorial flight over the town in remembrance of the 544 RAF pilots killed between July and September 1940, including Squadron Leader Harold Starr who is buried in Radnor Street Cemetery.
The programme of events to commemorate the life of this Swindon born pilot:
Tuesday, 8th September, 7.15pm, Swindon Central Library* – Illustrated talk: Harold Starr, One of ‘The Few’. Graham Carter, editor of Swindon Heritage, tells the story of Swindon’s own Battle of Britain hero.
Wednesday 9th, 7.15pm, Swindon Central Library* – Illustrated talk: Flying a Spitfire. Pilot Phill O’Dell explains what it’s like to fly the iconic Second World War fighter.
Thursday, 10th, 7.15pm, Swindon Central Library* – Illustrated talk: Secrets of the Spitfire. Swindon author Lance Cole talks about his groundbreaking books on the plane’s design.
Saturday, 12th, all day, Swindon Town Centre: Battle of Britain Vintage Day. 1940s-themed displays, stands, stalls, music and dancing, plus full-size replicas of a Hurricane and a Spitfire on display.
Sunday, 13th, 10am to 4pm, Radnor Street Cemetery. Guided walks, free burial register look-ups, war graves trail, displays, music and refreshments. Bring the family and a picnic and discover more about Swindon’s Heritage.
Monday 14th, 7.30pm, The Beehive, Prospect Hill. Flying a Lancaster Bomber. Sqn Ldr Stuart Reid (Retd), who flew the Lancaster for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight for 11 years, talks about his experiences.
Tuesday 15th, 12.50pm. Flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in honour of Sdn Ldr Harold Starr and the rest of ‘The Few’ on Battle of Britain. Visible in the town centre and other parts of Swindon (more details to be released at a later date).
HRH The Duke of Gloucester will visit Radnor Street Cemetary to view the flypast above Harold Starr’s grave and will later unveil a First Great Western locomotive named Harold Starr at Swindon station. Both events are by invitation.
The events are being organised by Swindon Heritage in conjunction with Paul Gentleman and Caroline Black who requested the flypast on Battle of Britain Day. Supported by First Great Western
*Tickets for talks at the Central Library cost £1.50 (library members) or £2.50 (non-members) per talk. Discount for all three talks: £3.50 (library members), £6 (non-members). Available from the Help Desk on the ground floor of Central Library, tel: 01793 463792, and all other Swindon libraries.
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See more details in the Swindon Heritage Battle of Britain souvenir edition sponsored by First Great Western via www.swindonheritage.com
Pictured top, image designed by Paul Gentleman for the July edition of Swindon Link magazine. Centre, Squadron Leader Harold Starr. Read more about Harold Starr. Below, static mobels of a Spitfire and Hurricane to be displayed in Swindon town centre on Saturday 12 September