Friday, 24 September 2010

First Light...




Last week i have been watching recorded documentaries on the Battle of Britain shown as part of the 70th anniversary of the the Battle week.
One such programme was a BBC drama documentary about Geoffrey Wellum, who at 19 years was the Youngest RAF fighter pilot of the Battle of Britain during the summer of 1940...


The film is based on his memoirs published as a book `First Light`...


Here is another youtube upload about the programme...



He flew with 92 Squadron during the battle,
Wellum would not only survive that summer but also received the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his bravery...


Wellum would later fight over Malta and survived the war,
Now aged 89 he describes himself as `a survivor` not a hero...

I copied the film and have uploaded some of the highlights as i know outside of the UK you cant watch BBC I player, sound quality isn't very good I'm afraid,
Narrated by Geoffrey the film recreates his first flight in a Supermarine Spitfire,
You can sense the Adrenaline and rush of the that first flight in his Spit, at the time the fastest fighter in the world, an all metal construction 1000 bhp interceptor mono plane fighter, Wellum narrates the feeling of flight...



More training on the ground and flying hours then he was posted to duty,
Then his first combat with his Squadron and his lucky escape, as he discovered the 14.3 seconds of ammunition doesn't last very long, and he was lucky to survive being pounced on by a German Messerschmitt ME 109...

You really get a feeling of the fear those young men must of felt, in fact you have to wonder just what was going through there minds as they waited at there Dispersal huts for that phone to ring with the order to scramble, and then as a group of 12 they would fly up to often face 200-500 axis forces Bombers and fighters...


The odds were against the RAF but these young men's bravery would over the summer of 1940 help to turn the tide of the war for Britain...



Whatever side they were on they were all heroes...

6 comments:

  1. Saw this recently too. Fantastic adaption of his story, especially with him playing his older self.

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  2. Al; added a news interview about the programme...
    i think Geoffery Wellums words some this up...very well made...

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  3. yes, the movie is very well made!!

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  4. hi Tommy, in the news interview Geoffrey said `because of what was done you are here today living free lives` kinda sums it up dosnt it...

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  5. The book "The Last Fighting Tommy" about the life of Harry Patch is also a must to read.

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  6. Tommy i have also read that book,these guys really are heroes whatever...i cant respect them enough...

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