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I was talking and laughing with a school friend in the street when suddenly there was the eerie wailing tes of the air raid siren filling the air. I can remember that our laughter stopped straight away, and I recall feeling chilled and scared. Doors were opened and people came out of their houses looking up to the sky. It was a Sunday morning on a beautiful summer's day with blue skies and really warm sunshine. But within minutes our lives had changed, and the child in me had gone, never to return . (Mrs Mary Earle, Kent). After the surrender of France to Germany Churchill anunced that 'the Battle of Britain is about to begin' and on 10 July 1940 the Luftwaffe began bombing ships in the English Channel in readiness for a full air assault on the south of England. In August, German aircraft were attacking coastal airfields, moving inland to attack radar bases, further RAF airfields and aircraft factories, until finally turning their attention to London and other major cities. But Hitler had underestimated the determination of the RAF and by mid-September the Luftwaffe sustained such great losses that Britain had won the battle for our skies and the German invasion was called off. This third installment in the 'We Remember' series is filled with stories from servicemen from the air and on the ground, and the men, women and children who witnessed the extraordinary fights between British and German planes.
Frank and Joan Shaw live in Hinckley in Leicestershire. They have four children and nine grandchildren. They were born and raised in Deal, Kent and this is where they spent the war. The idea of the We Remember series came when their granddaughter asked them about the Second World War for a school project. Frank and Joan decided more memories needed to be committed to paper, and they wrote to 700 local newspapers throughout the country asking just that. They were flooded with letters, which they then self-published as five hardback books, raising over GBP100,000 for the Royal British Legion. Ebury Press are excited to be republishing them over 20 years later, with all royalties also going to the Legion.