Photo : Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust
Photo : © Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust
Photo : © Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust
Photo : © Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust
Photo : © Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust
Photo : © Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust
Photo : Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust
Photo : © Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust
Photo : Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust

News and Events

Special Events

During the course of the Season we hold various events such as Vintage Weekends, Book Launches, Presentations, Airfix Paint and Make Days.

We are currently putting together our calendar of special events and these will appear here shortly, and on our Facebook and Twitter Pages.

They will include: Vintage Weekends, 100th Anniversary of the RAF Centenary event, Blenheim Day, Defiant Day, John Vasco presentation on the Messerschmitt Bf 110 and several book launches, including Andy Longs definitive tome on the Boulton Paul Defiant.

Watch this space!

19 July - Spirit of The Few - P/O Keith Gillman.

An anxious day for Stephen Melton, the sculptor (and his team at SPACER's studio at Thanet), as they met Lindsay Langley, her husband David, and Suzanne Gillman, to show them the life-size sculpture of their uncle, P/O Keith R. Gillman.

The nieces were massively impressed by the life-size sculpture of Keith, the stunning work in creating it by Stephen and were happy that nothing needed changing. Suzanne is supplying a photograph of a family watch, that was possibly Keith's, and this will be added to the sculpture by Friday, when Stephen is due to finish this creation.

The reaction of Suzanne, on seeing her uncle's scupture for the first time on 19 July 2019 - 'Amazing'

28 June - Spirit of The Few - P/O Keith Gillman.

Hopefully most will remember that last September we, the Trustees and Volunteers of the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust, made a landmark announcement that we were creating a permanent Memorial to our heroes 'The Few' within the Museum Grounds.

Later you helped us name this Memorial the 'Spirit of The Few.'

We have been fairly quiet since, contacting the next-of-kin of six of the seven airmen that are being created in the Memorial, which recreates in full-size bronze sculptures the seven pilots of No. 32 Squadron captured by a cameraman from Fox Photos on 29th July 1940. We are still trying to locate the next-of-kin of Rupert Smythe.

We commissioned Stephen Melton and his team from Spacers at Thanet on 21st September 2020 to create this Memorial. Obviously since then we in Kent faced a lockdown from November, that was later expanded to the whole of the country, which has impacted on the start of this commission but we have some good news! Three weeks ago Stephen Melton started on the creation of the first figure / sculpture, that of Pilot Officer Keith R. Gillman. Keith was 19 years old when he was shot down and posted 'missing believed killed' a few miles from Dover, his home town.

On Monday afternoon 28th June 2021 Museum Trustees Dave Brocklehurst MBE and Derek Sutton called over to see Sarah Craske and Stephen Melton at Spacers, in part to supply some additional technical information for these sculptors. It also gave both the Volunteers a chance to see the first sculpture in person and say that we were impressed is an understatement!

For Dave it was quite emotional, having thought up the idea over thirty years ago and it was not until last year, when he had a near fatal accident, that he decided it was about time to make it happen. Well here are quite a few photographs of Stephen's progress. We should also add that he is three weeks into the eight weeks required to create each sculptor! The next five weeks will be fine tuning and adding details to the already stunning creation.

You may ask why it has taken four days to update you on this massive step forward, with the creation of the Memorial, but Dave needed to speak to Keith Gillman's family and share these photographs with his family before anyone else saw them.

Yesterday afternoon Dave spoke to Keith's niece, his nearest next-of-kin, and shortly afterwards, shared these photographs with her. She said 'It looks amazing. Can't wait to show the rest of the family. Thank you.'

11 June - A week of Diplomatic visits.

Our week ending 11 June included visites from Embassy staff from the Czech Embassy and also the Slovak Embassy London

On 8 June Col Jiří Niedoba, Czech Defence Attaché, revisited the Museum in his final few days in the UK before returning to the Czech Republic and retirement. For this trip he was accompanied by Brigadier General Petr Čepelka, of the Czech Air Force and his wife Eva Čepelková.

For Colonel Jiří Niedoba it was a return visit, having previously visited in 2019, but for Brigadier General Petr Čepelka and his wife it was their first visit. They were highly impressed by all they saw and one thing we know it was their first visit but certainly won't be their last!

On 10 June, we were honoured that His Excellency Ambassador Róbert Ondrejcsák and Col Vladimír Stolárik, Defence Attaché, from the Slovak Embassy visited us to learn more about the 88 Czechoslovak Battle of Britain pilots.

This was the Ambassador's first visit to the Museum, since his arrival to the UK in January to take up his new post. For Col Stolárik, this was his 2nd visit to us, having previously visited in October 2020.

Sadly their tour had to be a whistle stop one as they had to be back in London by 3.30pm for a meeting but it did allow them several hours to tour the Museum, and before heading back to London they stopped in to our friends at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne to lay a wreath at the Memorial.

1 June - Operation Room Clock restored.

Our good friend of the Museum, Chris Gannon, who, over the last few months has been restoring and servicing an 'Alf Batt' copy Operation Room Clock that has hung in the Lord Dowding Memorial Hangar since 1990. The clock externally looks spot on to an original (the original RAF Biggin Hill Operation Room Clock can be seen on display in the Armoury) but the mechanism inside caused Chris many problems over the last few months. Chris has successfully cleaned, rebuilt and altered the clock mechanism so it can manage the large hands of the clock, and completely restored the case etc.

The clock looks absolutely stunning, and between Dave and Chris they rehung the clock back in its usual location in the Lord Dowding Memorial Hangar.

Of course this has now given Chris another job! Calling in a couple of times a week to wind the clock!!!

17 May - Day 7 of 7 day countdown to re-opening on 18 May

The Armoury.

16 May - Day 6 of 7 day countdown to re-opening on 18 May

The Grounds.

15 May - Day 5 of 7 day countdown to re-opening on 18 May

The No.25 Squadron Mess and Tea Room.

14 May - Day 4 of 7 day countdown to re-opening on 18 May

The Operations Block.

13 May - Day 3 of 7 day countdown to re-opening on 18 May

The Lord Dowding Memorial Hangar.

12 May - Day 2 of 7 day countdown to re-opening on 18 May

The Stuart Buttle Hangar.

11 May - Day 1 of 7 day countdown to re-opening on 18 May

Welcome and the Museum shop.

1 May - The Dulcettes

Too hear how seriously good our Hawkinge neighbours Holly Chambers and Victoria Bass, aka The Dulcettes are, a medley of them singing live at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge earlier today, Saturday 1st May 2021, and during this weekends event in the Museum Grounds.

The Volunteers would like to extend their sincere thanks to Holly and Victoria for kindly agreeing to do the 'spontaneous gig' today at the Museum and allowing us to share some of their performance here with you all.

21 April - Special Pre Season Event

We sadly cannot reopen the Museum until Tuesday 18th May 2021, at the earliest, but we can open the Grounds, so on the May Bank Holiday (Saturday 1st, Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd May 2021) we are opening the Museum Grounds, the No. 25 Squadron Mess and Tea Rooms are providing a BBQ, and the Museum Shop will also be open.

To make the weekend more special, you will be able to get up close to the aircraft and be able to take as many photographs as you like. We are also hoping to have a few reenactors on site with the aircraft.

The admission cost will be: Adults / OAPs £10 and Children (15 and under) £6. This will give you access to the Museum Grounds but entitle you to either a hotdog, burger or vegetarian option from the BBQ and hot drinks during the day. Cold drinks and additional food will also be available.

We will have a 'Pop Up Micro Pub' on site throughout the Bank Holiday Weekend too (available to paying visitors only).

Please note that this is in the Museum Grounds only. The buildings will be closed other than the shop and toilets. Face masks must be worn in the Museum Shop and accessing the toilets.

Social distancing must be adhered too at all times. Groups of no more than 6 to comply with current restrictions. All Covid Restrictions apply.

We hope you will be able to join us and help the Museum raise some much needed funds and make this event a great kick start to the 2021 Season.

26 March - Re-opening 18 May 2021

9 February - Weapons Room Refurbishment Winter 2020/2021

One of this Winter's refurbishment projects this winter was the rebuilding of the Weapons Room display in our Armoury building.

Within hours of the Museum closing in November, museum volunteers began to strip out the existing display cabinets of exhibits and remove those cabinets. This short video shows how the project has progressed:

Sadly due to the Covid Pandemic Lockdown, what started as a team of volunteers has ended up with just one being able to progress this project. It does clearly show just how much work goes into these projects, using a wide range of volunteers and all offering the Museum a wide range of skills.

3 January 2021 - A year on

A year ago in December 2019, we, the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge announced the arrival of the first sections of the former Imperial War Museum CASA 2.111B / Heinkel He 111H-16.

To celebrate this (we are very proud of our achievement) here is a short video interview recorded earlier with our Dave, the Museum Chairman, Historian and very proud Volunteer.

For further information on the Heinkel Project and a sequence of photographs showing the progression of her restoration, please have a look at the dedicated Heinkel page on this website:

23 November - We need your help!

This is a copy of the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge Christmas Wish list for our Heinkel He 111H-16 project.

Engine bulkhead mounts
Engine Bearers (second set as we have one set already)
Engine mounts (from engine to engine bearers)
Jumo 211 engine heads
Jumo 211 cam covers
Reduction gear covers
Cowlings (in any condition)
Propeller blades
VDM Propeller hubs
Spinners
Exhausts
Oil coolers
Radiators housing
Rear engine gearbox
Supercharger + inlet
Main undercarriage wheel tyres
MG 15 Machine Guns (we have three but need another three)
MG 15 Saddle Drums
Cockpit main control panel
Cockpit instruments
Bomb Bay equipment (bomb boxes etc)
Control locks
Tie downs (for the wings)

The project has come a long way since the fuselage and centre section arrived in March this year but we need your help to progress this further. We are talking to people and organisations around the world already but we might have missed some one.

If you can help, maybe have some of these items, share to a Group or Friend, promote around Facebook etc we would be very grateful.

The Heinkel He 111H-16 is a static rebuild so we can consider a wide range of conditions of any of these items. If you can help please contact Dave Brocklehurst MBE from the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust info@kbobm.org.

Please visit our dedicated page for the Heinkel project to see the progress that has been too date and please bear in mind we are all volunteers and receive no official support other than admission fees and donations from you are friends, supporters and visitors: www.kbobm.org/heinkel_project.html

30 October - Visitors from the Slovak Embassy

Amongst the 120+ visitors to the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge today, Friday 30th October 2020, were HE Ľubomír Rehák, the Slovak Republic Ambassador, Col. Vladimír Stolárik, the Slovak Republic Defence Attaché and Martin their Chauffeur.

HE Ľubomír Rehák is the third Ambassador to visit the Museum this year and despite the Covid pandemic!

Museum Chairmman Dave Brocklehurst MBE took the opportunity to show our honoured guests some of the artefacts of a Heinkel He 111H that he and some of the Museum Volunteers had excavated from the former Woolwich Arsenal back in 1986. This is the Heinkel that is represented in the colour scheme we chose for our very own example. One of the airmen that claimed the destruction of this Heinkel on 15th September 1940, later known as Battle of Britain Day, was Sergeant Bohumir Furst of No.310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron who was born in Opatovice, Moravia, Czechoslovakia.

Before they left our honoured guests laid a Slovak flag at the Hawkinge Airfield Memorial.

5 October - ITV Meridian TV report

If you are not in the ITV Meridian region or missed tonights (Monday 5th October 2020) programme, please click here to watch the news feature .

It features the biggest project the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust has ever undertaken, the creation of a ground breaking Memorial in the grounds of the Museum at Hawkinge. It will include interviews with Stephen Melton from Spacers (from Thanet, not Folkestone as reported) and the Museum Chairman and Volunteer, Dave Brocklehurst MBE.

We are still setting up our JustGiving Page but in the meantime you can make a donation to the Museum and help us create this stunning Memorial via Paypal account: d.a.brocklehurst@btinternet.com

The Memorial will represent the seven airmen of No.32 Squadron who were famously photographed at RAF Hawkinge on 29th July 1940 and taken only a couple of hundred yards from where the Museum is now housed. The Memorial will see the airmen created in full-size and cast in bronze.

26 September - LANDMARK ANNOUNCEMENT

The Volunteers at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge are incredibly excited, pleased, and proud to announce our latest and most significant project in the fifty-five year history of the Museum. It will see the creation of a permanent Memorial to our heroes 'The Few' within the Museum Grounds.

The Memorial will represent the seven airmen of No.32 Squadron who were famously photographed at RAF Hawkinge on 29th July 1940 and taken only a couple of hundred yards from where the Museum is now housed. The Memorial will see the airmen created in full-size and cast in bronze.

The idea was thought up by Dave thirty odd years ago. For around twenty years we have had the three Gate Guardian Hurricanes on display as a centre piece in the Museum Grounds and every time Dave walks past, he has visualised the seven airmen in bronze in front, with the backdrop of these Hurricanes. So much so that ten years ago he did a pencil sketch of what he imagined it would look like!

Fast forward to May this year when Dave had a serious accident at the Museum. This caused him to focus on several major projects he has always wanted to progress. After chatting with his fellow Trustees and Volunteers, all of whom were excited by this idea, he sorted various quotes from sculptors around the country to see if this was a viable project. From a suggestion by Jane Priston of the Amy Johnson Project, Spacers from Ramsgate were one of those who quoted. Dave was aware of the quality of their work from the Amy Johnson statue on the Herne Bay Seafront and the Gurkha Memorial in Folkestone. We also liked the idea of the Amy Johnson Memorial not being on a plinth so that the public can interact with the figure. This will be a feature of our own Memorial so the figures will be displayed sitting on the original grass of Hawkinge Airfield. Fellow Trustee, Richard Windrow, was also a massive help having previously worked as a sales director for a specialist sculptor company.

Luckily for us, Spacers came up with the most realistic quote and will carry out all phases of the work in-house at their studio at Newington. From sculpturing in clay, to moulding and the casting in bronze. They are also less than 40 minutes away from the Museum, so we can keep a careful eye on every step of the process and Spacers can visit us for inspiration and for all the research that will be required to make each figure as realistic and accurate as possible.

On Monday 21st September 2020 Dave, Richard Windrow and Derek Sutton, together with Jane Priston, visited Spacers Studio to discuss the Commission and to see in detail every step of the process required to create such an outstanding and ground-breaking Memorial. There they met Stephen Melton, Sarah Craske and Karina Craske who will be leading on this project and to say that all were impressed, would be an understatement! The Memorial will take a year to create, which means it will be unveiled on Friday 29th July 2022, the 82nd Anniversary of the historic photographs being taken.

Since Monday, the Trustees have been consulting with Ed Hawkes, our fourth Trustee, who due to Covid Regulations was unable to attend the meeting, and Peter Griffiths, our Honorary Secretary. Details of the quote have been ironed out and all the Committee have voted to proceed with the order, which led to Dave ringing Karina at Spacers yesterday morning to award them this Commission.

Museum Volunteer, David Hertz, is using his genealogy research skills to find the descendants of each of the airmen. Dave B has had conversations with several of the families already and all have been extremely excited by this project.

More details will follow and will include how you can be directly involved with this exciting project. This will be from donating, to attending fund raising events and even possibly posing for the statues!

We are in the process of creating a JustGiving Page and this will be one of the main avenues that you can donate to this project.

Please tell us what you think?

Many Thanks as always…

Foot note: Dave has always hoped we would acquire all the adjacent bombed out hangar bases and fuel installation, which would have meant the Memorial would have been sited on the original spot where the photograph was taken. Sadly, and although we have been trying to acquire this land since 1990, the current owners are still trying to get permission to build around one hundred houses on this area. The Local Authority has agreed that the Museum must gain a minimum of 1.09 hectares but obviously the land must and needs to be adjacent to our current site. This means it is highly unlikely that we will acquire the piece of ground where the world-famous photographs were taken. Also, several of the former Senior officer's houses in the background of these iconic photographs have been pulled down to make way for modern housing, therefore destroying the historic skyline



15 September - 80th Anniversary - Battle of Britain Day

Here is a Very Special Message from a Very Special Man and Hero, our last known surviving member of 'The Few', Group Captain John 'Paddy' Hemingway;

'For many of us the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain is a time to reflect. I would like to thank everyone for remembering myself, my friends and colleagues on this of all days, 15th September 2020.'

'It is a sad reality our memories fade over time, especially mine. That's why The Kent Battle of Britain Museum at Hawkinge is so crucial. It enables us to remember and keep alive the experiences myself and others had during those dramatic months, forever.'

Group Captain John "Paddy" Hemingway DFC AE - 14.09.2020



25 August Busiest Day!

Some fantastic news from the Volunteers at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge that today, Tuesday 25th August 2020, has been the busiest day for the Museum in its fifty-five year history!

With all the dome and gloom in the world at present we thought we would share this brilliant news, and say a massive big thank you to the nearly 250 visitors we welcomed to the Museum today.

Not bad when you consider that due to the covid pandemic we have lost all coach trips this season, the vast majority of foreign visitors (around 25% of our annual visitors) and a large percentage of our over 70s (are core visitor group) who are still be cautious or in isolation.

Our previous record was set on 18th August 2015 on the 75th Anniversary of the Hardest Day.

The Museum and No.25 Squadron Mess and Tea Rooms are open Tuesdays to Sundays 10 am to 5 pm, with last entry by 4pm. Closed Mondays except this coming Monday 31st August, being a Bank Holiday. We are not operating a pre-booking system.



3 July Mayors Charity Donation

We were also very pleased to greet the Mayor and Mayoress of Hawkinge, Glyn and Sandra Hibbert, who called in to present Dave Brocklehurst MBE, on behalf of the Museum and Volunteers, a cheque for £500 from the Mayors Charity. The money will be used towards the purchase of the engines for the Heinkel He 111H-16.



30 June Important Announcement - We re-open 4 July!

Great news and what we have all been waiting too hear and that is the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge is re-opening to the General Public at 10am this Saturday 4th July 2020.

We have had a second and this time, an independent Covid Assessment and thanks to James Tonge. We have four days to place additional signage around the Museum but otherwise are good to go.

We are also very pleased to announce that the No.25 Squadron Mess and Tea Rooms will also be re-opening on Saturday, although they will not be able to offer a full menu due to some uncertainly in the supply chain of certain supplies of food.

We would ask all visitors to pay by chip and pin, to save the handling of any cash. One person from each group should supply us with a name and contact phone number to help with contact and trace with the current Covid Pandemic. Please allow additional time on entry to the Museum, so you may encounter some queues at the entrance.

We are recommending that all Volunteers wear face masks and would suggest that anyone visiting brings and wears their own masks.

Finally and very importantly, we would ask that all visitors respect the 1mtr + social distancing rules and particular in relation to other visitors and our wonderful volunteers.

The Museum and Mess will be opening as our usually advertised hours of opening.

We look forward to welcoming to the Museum in this important year, the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Many thanks

Dave Brocklehurst MBE - Chairman / Volunteer

Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust Ltd



30 June - Whilst the Museum has been closed over winter

Its not just our Heinkel III which has received attention over the winter period. Whilst the museum has had to be closed to the public since 18 March 2020, a lot have changes have been happening during that period, particularily since the government lock-down regulations have recently eased. This enabled some museum volunteers to come in and prepare for re-opening. New exhibits were also obtained by the museum as well. Some examples

A new covirus-19 screen has been included at the Museum reception.

Some WW2 period bombs donated by No.5131 (Bomb Disposal) Squadron, the last RAF Bomb Disposal Squadron.

Museum volunteer Rick, adding stencil markings to our Hurricanes.

While museum volunteer Robbie has been preparing new sign boards donated to us by English Heritage at Walmer Castle.

Meanwhile Robin Gibson of BBC South East came down to inteview Dave Brocklehurst MBE about the Heinkel III and his accident. Museum volunteer Rick was also interviewed.

.....whilst earlier that morning Shiv from ITV Meridian had come to do filming a for a follow up story of the restoration of the Heinkel He 111H-16 through the lock down.

For several months Dave has been looking for a prewar civilian car, to add to the ever growing collection at the Museum. Something that a Battle of Britain pilot would have had as a personal car during this period.

A few weeks ago Julian Richardson spotted that a 1937 Austin Ruby had been recently advertised and let Dave know. The only problem was that the car was for sale in Sheffield! Luckily our Museum Honorary Secretary, Peter Griffiths, lives fairly close by, so after a few conversation between Dave, Peter and the seller, it was agreed that Peter would view the car.

Peter negotiated an agreeable price to both parties and today we were very pleased to welcome the Austin Ruby to the Museum, where she was not only greeted by Dave but also by Derek Sutton (Trustee), Jim Lawrence, Rick Kent and Lucy Cook.

Volunteer Jim Lawrence painting the ceiling in the extension to the No.25 Squadron Mess and Tea Rooms.

Cleaning and wax oiling one of the two Junkers Ju 87B 'Stuka' dive-bomber main wheel spats that we have within the collection. This one sadly has no known history and although from a 'B' variant, it is believed to have crashed in Russia.

New exhibits have been added to various display cabinets. One of the first to be done was a rare Loftfe 7a bomb-sight from a Heinkel He 111H that crashed at Old Barn Big Field, Hildenborough on Wednesday 11th September 1940. To fit the display in, a Messerschmitt Bf 110 tail wheel had to be re-positioned including drill through the cabinet and fixing a metal supporting bracket. Several other items were moved and added to the cabinet to get the right balance

Dave Brocklehurst MBE added a beautiful pencil sketch by Flt/Lt. Ian D. G. Donald of No.141 Squadron who was shot down and was killed when his Defiant crashed in a cornfield near Elms Vale Road, Dover, on 19th July 1940, sometimes referred too as the 'Slaughter of the Innocents.' Sadly there is only one known photograph of Flt/Lt Donald and isn't particularly clear but the hunt for others, is on going. The pencil sketch was kindly donated to the Collection by Joel Diggle.

The Hurricane Gate Guardian were taken out from their winter quarters in the hangar.

Stuart-Buttle Memorial Hangar floor was repainted in preparation for opening.



18 March Important Announcement, please read:-

The Trustees of the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge have been following the daily developing crisis with regards to the Corona Virus Covid 19.

We have taken what we can only describe as the most difficult and yet the easiest decision with regard to this.

The most difficult, after all the incredibly hard work and major developments (on top of this weekends arrival of the Heinkel He 111H-16) that our brilliant volunteers have been carrying out over the winter months, and that we are desperately keen to share with you our supporters, friends and followers of all things relating to the Battle of Britain.

The easiest decision, as the vast majority of our fellow volunteers are 70 years and older, so are at higher risk and therefore as close and long term friends, their health and safety is of paramount importance to us.

Therefore we have taken the decision to delay the re-opening of the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust (and No.25 Squadron Mess and Tea Rooms) this year for your safety, as well as ours.

We hope that the situation may improve, sooner rather than later, and therefore we are hoping that we might be able to re-open on Friday 1st May, but this will be reviewed and announced during April, and we will follow the advice given to us by the Government and Local Authority.

In the meantime those Volunteers that wish to continue working on site, will do so (all the time they are legally allowed to do so), expanding and improving the largest collection of Battle of Britain artefacts on show in the World, in preparation for when we can re-open, in this important year, the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Sorry for any inconvenience this might cause but we are sure you can understand our reasoning for this decision.

Many thanks

Dave Brocklehurst MBE - Chairman / Volunteer

Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust Ltd



12 March Preparing the Casa to leave Duxford.

The CASA 2.111B / Heinkel He 111H-16 was loaded by Welch's Specialiest Movemnet and Welch's Crane Hire at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford in preparation for her delivery to the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge.



20 February Danish TV at the museum.

Dave was tide up with Michael Schmidt-Olsen and Daniel Schultz-Madsen from Candofilm based at Copenhagen in Denmark. They had flown over from Denmark last night to film elements of a documentary at the Museum today about the tragic events of 13th August 1940 when No.82 Squadron, based at RAF Watton in Norfolk were sortied to bomb Aalborg West Airfield in Denmark.

Twelve aircraft took off, although one turned back with technical problems. Reaching the coast of Denmark the safety of cloud cover disappeared and the formation of RAF Bristol Blenheim Mk.IVs were spotted. All eleven aircraft would be shot down, by either flak or the Messerschmitt Bf 109E's of JG 77. Only thirteen of the thirty-three crewmen survived to become prisoners-of-war.

This was the second time that No.82 Squadron had been wiped out in less than three months! On 17th May 1940 twelve Bristol Blenheim's took off from RAF Watton on a bombing sortie to slow down the advancing German Army in Belgium. Eleven would be lost. One to Flak and the other ten to Messerschmitt Bf 109E's, with twenty-two aircrew killed and three made POW's. The one aircraft that returned to base was so badly damaged that it was subsequently written-off.

These two tragic events led to a book being written on the No.82 Squadron titled: 'The Squadron that died twice.'

Michael Schmidt-Olsen, the Director / Producer of the documentary, is following this bombing sortie to Aalborg West, minute by minute, for Danish Television but wanted to get up close and personal with a Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV (Bollingbroke) and contacted Dave back in January.

The day was spent interviewing Dave about the history of the Bristol Blenheim, its operational use, the role of the aircrews that flew this type of aircraft and the one going restoration of our example. With the weather deteriorating, they moved into the Lord Dowding Memorial Hangar to interview Dave in front of one of the Museum's three Messerschmitt Bf 109E's, replicas from the Battle of Britain Motion Film, about the process of acquiring, researching and restoring a Bristol Blenheim.


10 February Casa survives the storms.

Fantastic news came in to us at 2am this morning that our CASA 2.111B / Heinkel He 111H-16 had survived the high winds at Duxford yesterday without any damage and despite being in a vunerable position outside and on axle stands.

Many thanks to Paul Gabb, Live Side Manager at Duxford for checking her out for us last night.



An event not to be missed.


10 January Casa Wings arrive.

At 2.00 pm today, Welch's Specialised Movements arrived at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge with the wings from our recently acquired CASA 2.111B / Heinkel He 111H-16.

As soon as the CASA 2.111B / Heinkel He 111H-16 wings arrived, Phil Gibson, the driver from Welch's Specialised Movements, positioned the lorry as close as he could to the Stuart-Buttle Memorial Hangar at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge and set about skilfully offloading the port wing, assisted by his colleague Neil and the team of volunteers from the Museum.

With the port wing from the CASA 2.111B / Heinkel He 111H-16 carefully off loaded and safely in the Stuart-Buttle Memorial Hangar at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge, it left the starboard wing to be off loaded.

The starboard wing was the correct way up on the lorry but with our schedule of work, we needed to work on the underside first, but this wasn't a problem to Phil Gibson and Neil from Welch's Specialised Movements, who carefully off loaded the wing in the car park and rolled her over without any damage to the wing.

Once the wing was upside down, the strops were quickly re-positioned and the wing was swung carefully and skilfully into the Stuart-Buttle Hangar, helped by our brilliant volunteers. Once Phil had lowered the wing onto the skates, it was an easy job to push the wing into the hangar and into place.

The most important photograph of the lot!

The amazing team of volunteers at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge, with Phil Gibson and Neil from Welch's Specialised Movements.



11 December Casa starting to arrive at the museum.

Wednesday 11th December 2019, Christmas came early for the Volunteers at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge this week when we had a very special delivery via Borley Brothers and the Imperial War Museum, Duxford!

It was the Rolls Royce Merlin engine, heads from the second engine, engine bearers, cowlings, exhausts, spinners etc from the CASA 2111.B / Heinkel He 111H-16.

Tony, the Borley Brothers driver, soon had everything off loaded as the Volunteers were itching to get into the storage boxes to see how complete the engines were and what condition everything else was in. We were not disappointed!.

Earlier in the week Dave Brocklehurst MBE, Julian Richardson and Tom Dolezal were up at Aircraft Restorations Co at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford collecting the tail of the CASA 2.111B / Heinkel He 111H-16.

The tail was dropped to the Museum the same day, courtesy of Julian and his van, and the Volunteers are already hard at work cleaning, repairing and prep'ing the tail section for painting.



18 November Casa on its way.

Monday 18th November 2019, the CASA 2.111B / Heinkel He 111H-16 was moved from the Conservation Hangar at the Imperial War Museum Duxford to the other end of the airfield and to Aircraft Restorations Co.

This clips shows the Heinkel being towed out of the hangar and seeing daylight for the first time in many years!

This aircraft is being prepared by Aircraft Restoration Co for her journey by road to the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge in late November or early December 2019.



14 November 2020 Winter maintenance - Day 10

Only 10 days since we closed for winter, but the enhancements in Luftwaffe section in the Armoury are well underway for its new look for 2020.


Come back to visit this page to see how we are progressing and we look forward to seeing you at the Museum in 2020.


6 November Putting our Hurricanes to bed for the winter.

Our three Hurricanes were originally RAF Gate Guardian Hurricanes. Since being acquired by the museum they are on dislay in the museum grounds during our opening season, but for winter we move them into our hangars. Today was that day and many of the museum volunteers were on hand to help with this annual task!

Thanks to museum volunteer Mitchell for this excellent video of todays event.



4 November Closed for winter.......but we already have 2020 improvements underway

2019 was another excellent year for the museum. It has been the busiest and most successful Season in the fifty-five year history of the Museum, with a record-breaking number of visitors coming from all around the world to visit us to see the World's largest collection of Battle of Britain artefacts and exhibits and learn more about the Battle and the men and women, Allied and Axis, who fought in it.

We have seen an increase of visitors of nearly 10%. Your admission fees and donations will allow us, the Volunteers, to expand and improve the Museum in preparation for re-opening for the 2020 season. As the Museum is run and administered purely by Volunteers, every penny of your admission fees and donations is ploughed back in each year and hence why, year on year, we expand and improve the World's largest collection of Battle of Britain artefacts and exhibits.

Even though we are now closed for winter maintenance and improvements until 4 April 2020, our dedicated team of volunteers have already started improvments to the museum to enhance the visitor experience for 2020 - the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. This winter will see many improvements to existing displays, together with the arrival of new exhibits, big and small. From the complete renovation of the Luftwaffe Gallery in the Armoury, to the arrival and restoration of our recently acquired CASA 211B / Heinkel He 111H-16. We will also be progressing the restorations of the Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV project and the former Clive du Cros flown replica of the prototype Spitfire. Hopefully by the Spring of next year we might even have the fuselage of the Westland Whirlwind Project on show in the Stuart-Buttle Memorial Hangar!

A short video of last winter's various maintenance projects which we undertook here.


Come back to visit this page to see how we are progressing and we look forward to seeing you at the Museum in 2020.


7 October Westland Whirlwind addition to the Museum

The Trustees and Volunteers of the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge are very pleased to announce that we are joining forces with the Whirlwind Fighter Project to build and display the Westland Whirlwind Fighter Nk.I, Serial No. P7056 'Pride of Yeovil' at the Museum.

As 'P7056' is built, each sub-assemble will be displayed in the Stuart- Buttle Memorial Hangar, and it will give us an opportunity to bring the work of the Whirlwind Fighter Project to a wider audience and we will also be helping to raise the finance to build her.

As some of you may already know, No.263 Squadron (see the photpgraphs and newspaper cuttings attached) were equipped with eight Westland Whirlwinds, together with Hurricanes, in the Battle of Britain. This is the reason why Museum Chairman and Volunteer, Dave Brocklehurst Mbe, has always been keen to display this project at the largest Battle of Britain Museum in the World.

We became aware of the Westland Whirlwind Project some years ago when they contacted us to scan the wreckage we have of this type of aircraft and close links have since been forged between the Museum and Project. Our sincere thanks to the Trustees of the Whirlwind Fighter Project and in particular, Chris Hayward.

If you can help in anyway with this project, please contact us, or the Whirlwind Fighter Project?


12 September CASA 2.111B [Heinkel He IIIH-16] addition to the Museum

The Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust are proud to announce that we have acquired a CASA 2.111B [Heinkel He 111H-16], from the Imperial War Museum.

We would like to share with you the colour scheme that our Chairman and Volunteer, Dave Brocklehurst MBE, has chosen for the Heinkel. Our sincere thanks to Clint Mitchell for his stunning profiles of this aircraft. Clint's and our research is ongoing and particularly regarding the colour of the spinners and the letter 'D'. The 'K' report differs from the 'G' report! The A.I.1 (g) report which was carried out at the crash site states: 'no markings visible.' We believe at this moment in time that they were probably green but there is a possibility that they might have been blue. This will obviously be sorted by the time Julian Richardson paints the aircraft!


7 September - Nick Oram - Book signings 29 September 2019

Another date for your diaries.

29 September Spitfire Elizabeth and the Roaring Boys

On Sunday 29th September 2019 the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge is very much looking forward to welcoming Nick Oram to the Museum for book signing of his latest book "Spitfire Elizabeth and the Roaring Boys".


5 August - Andy Long - Boulton Paul Defiant

Another date for your diaries - 28 August 2019.

Andy Long the leading expert on the Boulton Paul Defiant will be at the Museum to give a presentation on the Defiant.


31 August - 1 September Vintage Weekend


5 August - Andy Long - Boulton Paul Defiant

Another date for your diaries - 28 August 2019.

Andy Long the leading expert on the Boulton Paul Defiant will be at the Museum to give a presentation on the Defiant.


4 August

Today, Sunday 4th August 2019, the Kent Battle of Britain Museum at Hawkinge were very pleased to welcome back Lt. Co. Mike Neville and the Army Cadet Force Scotland Music Band.

The combined band played on the tarmac outside the entrance to the Museum this afternoon for visitors including another group of cadets visiting the Museum.

We were also very pleased to welcome Glyn Hibbert and his wife. Glyn is currently serving his second term as Mayor of Hawkinge.


17 July - David J. Bailey - Book signings 28 July 2019

Another date for your diaries - 28 July 2019.

On Sunday 28th July 2019 the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge is very much looking forward to welcoming David J. Bailey back to the Museum.

David is the author of the outstanding 610 (County of Chester) Auxiliary Air Force Squadron, 1936 - 1940 that was very recently released. It is a stunning piece of work on the Squadron and our Museum Chairman / Historian, Dave Brocklehurst MBE, was very pleased to help fellow historian David with areas of his research.

David J. Bailey will be on hand during the day to meet visitors, sign copies of his excellent book (his first signing event) and discuss all things relating to No.610 Squadron, who flew heavily from RAF Hawkinge during the Battle of Britain and spent several summer camps on the airfield pre-war.

We are also expecting several families of 'The Few' to attend the event and all whom forefathers served with the Squadron during the summer of 1940.

Copies of the book are already available from the Museum Shop and David will be on hand should you wish a personally signed copy.


9 July - Capel le Ferne Primary School Educational Visit 2019

One of many school educational visits during the year from not only UK schools but schools across Europe. Their enjoyment and the educational value of their visit can be seen in the photographs.

Photos posted with the permission of the Parents and the School.


30 June - Spit Nuts visit

With the incediably high temperatures yesterday we were expecting a quiet day at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge with people heading to the sea side.

Therefore we were very pleased that we saw well over 100 visitors despite the temperatures exceeding 30 degrees.

Amongst the visitors were our very good and dear friends from the Spit Nuts Facebook Page on a tour of not only but also our friends Jules and team Battle of Britain Memorial, Michelle and Graham at The Jackdaw at Denton and Marcus at the Spitfire and Hurricane Museum at Manston.

Shortly after 9am this morning, Sunday 30th June 2019, one of their number, Chris Doherty, is due to take to the skies over Hawkinge and Capel when he has a flight in Elizabeth, a two-seater Spitfire owned and operated by our friends Aero Legends out of Headcorn Airfield.


23 June - Motorbike club visits

On Saturday, 22nd June 2019, we were pleased to welcome a Honda Turbo motorbike club that included members from various countries across Europe.

On Sunday, 23rd June 2019, several other motorbike clubs called in to visit the Museum and / or visit our excellent No.25 Squadron Mess and Tea Rooms.


23 May - Dilip Sarkar MBE - Book signings 18 August 2019

Another date for your diaries - 18 August 2019.

Dilip Sarkar MBE will be signing copies of both his new books 'Spitfire!' and 'Arnhem 1944' at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum on Sunday 18 August 2019 – an appropriate date, being the 79th anniversary of the Battle of Britain's 'Hardest Day'.

He will be at the Museum all day, 10:00 hrs – 16:00 hrs, and looking forward to meeting visitors, fellow enthusiasts, friends old and new.

Copies of both books will be available on the day from the Museum shop, and happy to sign copies of my other titles should any readers wish to bring theirs along.


21 May - John Vasco

A date for your diaries - 10 August 2019.

On Saturday 10th August 2019, the Kent Battle of Britain Museum is pleased to welcome back John Vasco. John is one of the leading experts on the Messerschmitt Bf 110 and on Erprobungsgruppe 210 (a German precision fighter bomber unit). There will be at least three presentations held by John throughout the day.

John Vasco will be showing a 16mm colour film of the examination of a 2nd Staffel, Erprobungsgruppe 210 Messerschmitt Bf 110, by the Vultee Aircraft Corporation in America. This very rare film came to light less than twenty years ago in America and has rarely been shown to the general public, the first time being shown at the Museum on 11th August 2002. The Messerschmitt Bf 110 took part in the attack on Hawkinge on the 12th August 1940, which was the first major attack on the airfield, and was shot down in combat three days later. Items acquired at the time of the crash are also on show within the Museum.

John Vasco will be giving talks on the film and also on the attack on Hawkinge during the day and will happily answer any other questions that visitors may wish to ask. John will also be available to sign several books he has written on the subject, and all the money raised by this, will go to expansion and improvement of the Museum.

The raid on Hawkinge was carried out without loss to Erprobungsgruppe 210 and the Hawkinge Operations Record Book recorded the raid as follows:

'Bombing attack by Ju 88's against the Station was carried out at 1730 hours and lasted approximately 10 minutes. One hangar, No. 3, was almost completely wrecked whilst one other, No. 5, was partially wrecked. A number of bombs of heavy calibre, including incendiary, were dropped. The aerodrome and buildings were machine-gunned during the attack. The main stores were partly damaged by fire, the clothing store almost completely. The fire was quickly brought under control by RAF personnel aided by local AFS. The Station Workshops were wrecked. Two houses in the Airmen's Married Quarters, occupied by airmen, were destroyed. Twenty-eight craters were made on the aerodrome, the longest being 76' x 72' x 28' deep and the smallest 10' x 10' x 8' deep, but the aerodrome was not rendered completely unserviceable. Repairs to the surface were immediately commenced by the RE's already attached for such work. Ground defences were surprised and no guns, except two Hispano, were fired. The altitude of the attacking aircraft was such that it was impracticable for the PACU to be brought into action. Two civilians employed by contractors of the Works Directorate were killed, and three airmen were killed. Six airmen received severe injuries and were admitted to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury. The Casualties occurred to personnel employed in No. 3 Hangar. Two Spitfire aircraft, under repair, were damaged, whilst one or two others were struck by splinters. Two non-operational aircraft on charge were damaged but repairable.

After the attack, seven men were left dead, within feet of where the Museum now stands. No. 3 Hangar received several direct hits and the towering Iron Belfast Hangar doors came off their top runners and crushed to death an airman and two civilian employees, Mr. Brisley and Mr. McCaister. Within the hangar Corporal McColl and three more airmen were killed. The site of this death and destruction, for many years after the war was the Hawkinge Parish Council's football pitch and has now been redeveloped with housing.


28 April - Visitors from HAC

The Volunteers at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge were very pleased to see our friend Derek Rusling (right) and to meet Dave 'Harvs' Harvey (left) from the Historic Aircraft Collection.

To many 'Harvs' will need no introduction but for those that do not know, he is the pilot of the Historic Aircraft Collection's Hawker Hurricane and Hawker Nimrod II. He has been associated with HAC since 2007 and formerly served with the RAF for over thirty-five years (serving for part of this with No.25 Squadron), where he amassed over 7,800 hours on F4 Phantoms, Tornado F3's, Hawks and Tutors. He was the RAF solo Hawk display pilot for three seasons and flew the Duxford T33 Silver Star and F86A Sabre. 'Harvs' is also a part-time civilian flying instructor and flew the HAC's Hurricane for the recent filming of the No.303 Squadron motion film. Dave Brocklehurst MBE also had the opportunity to thank 'Harvs' for his recent and excellent flypast he gave in the HACs Hurricane at the excavation of 'Paddy' Hemingway's Hurricane at Fobbing in Essex back in March of this year.

Interestingly the Hawker Nimrod II, K3661, that 'Harvs' flies (amongst many other aircraft) was discovered in 1972 on a rubbish tip at Ashford, Kent, by the volunteers from the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust! It was recovered and donated by the Museum to the RAF Museum, who held it in store at RAF Henlow. The fuselage only was sold off by the museum when the Henlow storage facility was closed, to Mike Cookman, who was constructing a Hawker Typhoon at the time, from relic parts. Aero Vintage Ltd. bought the Nimrod fuselage from him in August 1991, and later that year, the wings (including the wings from a second Nimrod that Aero Vintage acquired, but a Nimrod I) and tail unit, which by now had re-appeared at the RAF Museum's Cosford 'deep' storage facility. The engine remains with the RAF Museum.

During a conversation with the late Mike Llewellyn MBE (the founder and Curator of the Museum) and Guy Black (of the Historic Aircraft Collection) about this project, Mike was able to advise Guy that we had a display in the entrance to the Museum that included the control column, instrument panel, map box, ammunition chutes and most importantly the original cockpit data plates from the Nimrod confirming its identity as Serial No 41H 59890 and RAF Serial No. K3991. These had been kept by the Museum following our recovery back in 1972. These items were subsequently made available to aid the aircraft's rebirth!

It sure is a small world!


7 April - New Meeting Room

Our expansion to the No 25 Sqn Mess and Tea Rooms means that the Museum is now able to offer an all year round Meeting Room for your group or club gatherings.

Refreshments and snacks available.

Find out more by talking to us about how we can help you, please contact - Jenny on 078 777 18942.


26 February - What a difference a week makes

Monday 18th February 2019, the No.25 Squadron Mess and Tea Room at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge became the No.25 Squadron Mess and Tea Rooms! Yes rooms!

First thing that morning, Museum Chairman and Volunteer, Dave Brocklehurst MBE, met Darren Scott of Scotts Transport at Sheerness to collect a secondhand portacabin recently acquired by the Museum. There the portacabin was on loaded onto the back of Darren's truck, and brought back to the Museum.

Refurbishment work started that afternoon, and continued by volunteers during that week.

With new windows, door and flooring already on order, all is on schedule for it to be completed intime for when we re-open on 2 April 2019.


9 February - Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV update

The donation of the Defiant by the Boulton Paul Association to the Museum Trust, in 2017, was the start of a deep friendship, built on mutual admiration of the work undertaken by the volunteers at both organisations.

With the acquisition of the Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV project in December 2017 our friends at the BPA wanted to get involved and share some of the work in restoring her back to her former glory.

Over the last year Jack, Cyril, Terry, Harold, Bob and Mick, all volunteers of the Boulton Paul Association at Wolverhampton, have been meticulously restoring the tail unit from the Blenheim and it is now nearing completion. The attached photographs, kindly supplied by Terry Harrington, show the fin and rudder all together for the first time, and the tailplane and elevators fully assembled. The control surfaces will be fabric'd in the next few weeks, and then the tail unit will be ready for a team from the Museum to collect, paint and attach to the rest of the project.

On behalf of Dave, Richard, Tony, Del and Ed (the Trustees) and all the Volunteers of the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust, we would like to say a massive thank you to our dear friends at the Boulton Paul Association. Your work as always, is outstanding.


2018-19 Winter Refurbishment - Uniforms.

February - Rick has been continuing with feeding and re-colouring some of the Irving flying jackets.

and also spit, polish and TLC to various boot sets which will be on display in the Armoury.

January 2019 - Whilst the Armoury cabinet rebuild has been mainly featured so far in our winter maintenance schedule, other of our voluteers have also been on site for other maintenance roles. Here, Daff, Rick and Linda have been giving their attention to the Museums reserve collection of uniforms and flying equipment.

Daff checking and assembling uniform sets and preparing those which will be sent away for dry-cleaning, at Johnsons Dry Cleaners, Folkestone.

Rick cleaning, treating, re-colouring and polishing the leather Irvin jackets, boots and flying caps;

while Linda applies her legendary seemstress skills to start repairing seveteen sets uniforms prior to their dry-cleaning.

11 December - Come and see our progress.


2 December - An event not to be missed.


2018-19 Winter Refurbishment - Armoury Display Cabinet replacement.

After many years in service, the uniform cabinet in the RAF Gallery in the Armoury needed replacement and is one of our projects this Winter.

9 February 2019 the bookcase has also be re-sited in the Armoury.

4 January 2019 After the Christmas and New Year break, the volunteers are soon back to add uniform exhibits to the central display cabinet, while Derek screeds over a floor section.

29 December Starting to put exhibits back into the display cabinet.

19 December Volunteers today, fitting and polishing the glass panels (kindly donated by On Time Windows) to the central display cabinet.

12 December Dave and Derek working on the upper studding for the new display cabinets

8 December Painting now complete in the central display cabinet.

7 December Bryan continues to wire in the new lighting system while Derek works on the new central display cabinet.

30 November - Day twenty-six of our winter maintenance period, saw Peter spend the majority of the day painting display stands, and the uprights and glazing beads on the wall cabinet in the Armoury. Bryan finished installing and wiring up all the spot lights in the new display cabinet. While Dave and Derek Widdows continued building the new display cabinets in the RAF Gallery in the Armoury.

25 November - Dave started early and filled in all the screw heads and filled the joints with paintersmate in the newly installed roof to the wall cabinet in the RAF Gallery in the Armoury. As soon as it was dry, Dave sanded the area and then painted the ceiling with primer / undercoat.

23 November - Dave, Bryan and Derek were constructing the 9mtr long roof to the new wall cabinet in the RAF Gallery in the Armoury.

20 November - Day sixteen of our winter refurbishment saw three volunteers; Dave, Ian and David Hertz concentrating on the construction of the new display cabinets.

17 November - Today Dave constructed the back joists and noggings to the floor of the cabinet and then sheeted in the front skirt and cabinet floor.

17 November - Volunteers, Dave, Bryan, Del, Rick and Peter, were batterning and erecting the back wall of the new wall cabinet in the RAF Gallery.

15 November - The main job of the day for Dave and new volunteer Rick was marking out the walls, cutting batterns.

11 November - Work commenced late morning to demolish the old uniform cabinet, in preparation for the new replacement.

3 September - Vintage Weekend

Well that was certainly a spectacular 'Vintage Weekend' at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge! The event was a major success and saw takings in the pay desk up by over 25% from last years Vintage Weekend. It also saw the car park full to capacity on several occasions over the weekend. (Thanks to our friends Kev and Clare at the Hawkinge Vehicle Services for allowing us to use their car park for all the volunteers, re-enactors, exhibitors cars for the weekend).

Many thanks to all those who displayed, and particular thanks to Dafydd Thomas for organising all the re-enactors and RAF encampment.

And of course a Massive Thanks to all those who visited, supported, shared, publicised, put up posters and support the hard work of all the volunteers.

We are planning two major 'Vintage Weekends' for the 2019 Season so watch this space for the dates which will be published very soon.


19 August


30 July - Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV cockpit update

Massive progress with our Bristol Blenheim Mk IV project today with the arrival today of our cockpit section from Canada. Unexpectedly, it was air-freighted over and quickly cleared through UK Customs, thank you.

BBC South-East news covered the arrival with two live broadcasts by Robin Gibson during the day.

Now our Blenheim is starting to look more like an aircraft


19 July - Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV update

We are very happy to report fantastic progress on the Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV project.

Last Thursday we had it confirmed that our Blenheim Mk.IV cockpit section was boxed in Canada and was awaiting for collection. We are happy to advise that the cockpit section is now on her way and should be with us within a matter of a few weeks.


26 June - We, the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge, were very pleased to welcome Paul McNicolls back from Canada over the weekend and to see the display we have created with the Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Rodney Park, GCB, KBE, MC and Bar, DFC personal effects he kindly presented to us in September 2017.

The artefacts were for many years in the possession of a former neighbour and friend of Sir Keith's in New Zealand, Marjorie and Don Lobban. They consist of photographs from Park's collection, and therefore not previously published, various documents, and, perhaps most interestingly, several books from Park's library. Don Lobban asked his friend Paul McNicholls for input and assistance in finding a permanent home for the Keith Park artefacts. Luckily for us, Paul had visited and seen the work we undertake and thus made us one of favourite recipients amongst museum's from around the world. Quoting Paul: 'I travel a lot in pursuit of my historical interests and am in the UK most years. There are of course other good air museums, but none that I have seen that are, in my opinion, quite in your league.'

We are pleased to report that Paul was very pleased with the display of personal effects that the Volunteers had arranged in the Armoury.


17 June - Amongst the visitors yesterday were seventeen Bond Bugs on a club run to the Museum and No.25 Squadron Mess and Tea Room.

One had even driven all the way from Liverpool to attend their weekend event!


30 May - a famous and attractive young lady arrived at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge the other day and can now be seen in the Stuart-Buttle Memorial Hangar.

Well a life size cardboard cut out of the famous Amy Johnson and kindly presented to the Museum by Jane Priston of the Amy Johnson Project.

Amy Johnson (1903-1941), CBE, was one of the most influential and inspirational women of the twentieth century. In 1940 she joined the Air Transport Auxiliary, an organisation set up to ferry planes around the country for the Royal Air Force. On 5th January 1941 she left Blackpool in an Airspeed Oxford, which she had been ordered to deliver to RAF Kidlington, near Oxford. Amy went off course in adverse weather conditions. Reportedly out of fuel, she bailed out as her aircraft crashed into the Thames Estuary near Herne Bay.

'Amy' can now be seen in front of a replica of 'Jason' a DH.60 Gipsy Moth G-AAAH, that was formerly suspended from the ceiling of the booking in hall at Croydon Airfield. (It was from Croydon that Amy left on her record breaking solo flight from England to Australia on 5th May 1930).

We are also very pleased to announce that the Museum is now assisting Jane Priston and the Amy Johnson Project.

For further details on the Amy Johnson Project please visit their website.


22 May - it has been a busy few days for the Volunteers at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust at Hawkinge and not only during the day when we are of course open to visitors.

Friday night, 18th May 2018, Dave Brocklehurst MBE and Ian Douglas, were joined by Dave Hammond, at Lydd-on-Sea to collect a yet unidentified propeller assembly which was recently trawled up in fishing nets off of Bexhill-on-Sea in Sussex.

The Volunteers are busily trying to establish the identity of the aircraft this propeller assembly might originate from. Dave has spent the last few nights cleaning off the crustaceans and corrosion to preserve the assembly for future display.

The Trustees and Volunteers would like to extend our sincere thanks to Scott and father Graeme (seen here) Possnicker for kindly donating this exhibit to the Museum.


8 May - back in February of this year, we, the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust, were contacted by Llyn Shirley in Canada enquiring if we had any information on her mother, Gwyneth Mary Roberts, who served at RAF Hawkinge between 1943 and 1946.

It turned out that Gwyneth served as an electrician and worked on the Link Trainer at RAF Hawkinge, but what Llyn did not realise until contacting us was the Link Trainer Building is one of the buildings that now houses some of the Museum Collection!

Llyn's mum is thankfully still with us and will be celebrating her 100th birthday in June. As Llyn told us, what can you buy an 100 year old lady?! Well Llyn came up with the idea of visiting the Museum from her home in Canada and taking photographs of the Link Trainer Building, where her mum had worked all those years before, and making a book of her trip to give her mum on her 'special birthday.'

Well on Friday last week, 4th May 2018, we were very pleased to welcome Llyn and her friend to the Museum and took photographs of her with our Link Trainer (the original flight simulator), in the Link Trainer Building, outside the Link Trainer Building and with the three Gate Guardian Hurricanes in the Museum Grounds.

Llyn supplied us with a few photographs of her mum and she actually got married in St. Michael's Church, Hawkinge (known as either old Hawkinge or Uphill these days). Gwyneth married John Thorning Shirley, a Canadian soldier, on 7th July 1945 and hence why she emigrated to Canada after the end of the Second World War.

Happy 100th Birthday from all the Volunteers and Supporters of the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust to Gwyneth Mary Shirley in June!


4th May - amongst the visitors to the museum we were very pleased to welcome Dr. Jaromír Marek, UK correspondent for Czech National Radio (Ceský rozhlas - Radiožurnál).

Jaromír, and two other Czech visitors, were guided round the collection by museum chairman and volunteer Dave Brocklehurst MBE and shown artefacts relating to some of the eighty-eight Czechoslovakian airmen that flew and fought with the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain. Many with No. 310 and No. 312 Czechoslovak Squadrons.

Jaromír interviewed Dave alongside the remains of the Hurricane engine of Czechoslovak Battle of Britain pilot Josef Koukal who had been shot down and badly burnt on 31 August 1940. In addition to the engine, the Museum recovered numerous other items from the crashsite at Capel Fleet, Kent and are on display in the Operations Block.

The interview, in Czech, here.


On Saturday 14th April 2018, we welcomed 'Red 10' an Aston Martin Vanquish S Red Arrows car, which was carrying the RAF Centenary Baton, and had an honour guard of eight other Aston Martins.

Actually forty-five Aston Martins accompanied 'Red 10' and the RAF Centenary Baton to the Museum!

The RAF Centenary Baton is being carried in a relay which sees the specially designed baton visit 100 sites associated with the RAF in 100 days, to commemorate the RAF's 100th Birthday year. To coincide with the birthday of the RAF the relay started on 1st April 2018 from the Royal Courts of Justice and will end 100 days later on 10th July (the seventy-eight anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain) at Horse Guards Parade. It was flagged off by Chief of Air Staff Sir Stephen Hillier and Wing Commander Paul Farnes, a former Battle of Britain veteran who flew with No.501 Squadron and who often flew from RAF Hawkinge.

We are very pleased and honoured that the RAF have chosen to recognise the Museum and the proud history of RAF Hawkinge by including us within the 100 sites.

Just after 12.00 noon, lots of visitors and museum supporters, our volunteers, representatives of the Royal British Legion, RAF re-enactors were at Museum to welcome 'Red 10', driven by Lt/Col Humphrey Bradley, the RAF relay team, led by SAC Luke Moore, RAF Regional Organiser, and the forty-five accompanying Aston Martins.

When they arrived we recreated a Red Arrows Formation with nine Aston Martins (in part red, white and blue) led by 'Red 10' and the RAF Centenary Baton, re-enactors and guests, in front of the three Gate Guardian Hurricanes.

After a visit around the Museum they departed, half an hour later than planned, for their next stop at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne.

And that is how we celebrated the 100th Birthday of the Royal Air Force.


The Trustees and Volunteers of the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust are Very Pleased and Honoured to announce that Yvonne Malan, who is a descendent of the one and only Sailor Malan, is running three races in South Africa this year raising much need funds for the Museum!

The first race, The Peninsula Marathon will be this coming weekend on 18th February 2018. The race finishes in Simon Town where Sailor Malan was a cadet on board SATS General Botha and the source of the 'Sailor' nickname (his family members called him John).

In May Yvonne will be running the Wellington Half Marathon, where Sailor was born.

In September Yvonne will be running the Cape Town Marathon, the city where Sailor led the Torch Commando meetings.

Yvonne said :

Sailor was erased from from South African history after his death, so I hope to raise awareness in South Africa about his life and legacy. Even if I weren't related to Sailor, I'd still feel strongly about promoting the legacy of 'The Few.' As I mention in the MyDonate Page, their courage made the future possible. Regardless of where you where born or where you come from. If The Few had failed, the global consequences would have been horrific. We owe them so much.

If you would like to support Yvonne over these three races and thus support the work of the volunteers at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust please click on the MyDonate button below.

Not only will we receive 100% of your donation but MyDonate will add Gift Aid to qualifying donations giving us an extra 25% at no extra cost to you



Presentation by John Vasco.

On Saturday 11th August 2018, the Kent Battle of Britain Museum is pleased to welcome back John Vasco. John is one of the leading experts on the Messerschmitt Bf 110 and on Erprobungsgruppe 210 (a German precision fighter bomber unit). There will be at least three presentations held by John throughout the day.

John Vasco will be showing a 16mm colour film of the examination of a 2nd Staffel, Erprobungsgruppe 210 Messerschmitt Bf 110, by the Vultee Aircraft Corporation in America. This very rare film came to light less than twenty years ago in America and has rarely been shown to the general public, the first time being shown at the Museum on 11th August 2002. The Messerschmitt Bf 110 took part in the attack on Hawkinge on the 12th August 1940, which was the first major attack on the airfield, and was shot down in combat three days later. Items acquired at the time of the crash are also on show within the Museum.

John Vasco will be giving talks on the film and also on the attack on Hawkinge during the day and will happily answer any other questions that visitors may wish to ask. John will also be available to sign several books he has written on the subject, and all the money raised by this, will go to expansion and improvement of the Museum.

The raid on Hawkinge was carried out without loss to Erprobungsgruppe 210 and the Hawkinge Operations Record Book recorded the raid as follows:

'Bombing attack by Ju 88's against the Station was carried out at 1730 hours and lasted approximately 10 minutes. One hangar, No. 3, was almost completely wrecked whilst one other, No. 5, was partially wrecked. A number of bombs of heavy calibre, including incendiary, were dropped. The aerodrome and buildings were machine-gunned during the attack. The main stores were partly damaged by fire, the clothing store almost completely. The fire was quickly brought under control by RAF personnel aided by local AFS. The Station Workshops were wrecked. Two houses in the Airmen's Married Quarters, occupied by airmen, were destroyed. Twenty-eight craters were made on the aerodrome, the longest being 76' x 72' x 28' deep and the smallest 10' x 10' x 8' deep, but the aerodrome was not rendered completely unserviceable. Repairs to the surface were immediately commenced by the RE's already attached for such work. Ground defences were surprised and no guns, except two Hispano, were fired. The altitude of the attacking aircraft was such that it was impracticable for the PACU to be brought into action. Two civilians employed by contractors of the Works Directorate were killed, and three airmen were killed. Six airmen received severe injuries and were admitted to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury. The Casualties occurred to personnel employed in No. 3 Hangar. Two Spitfire aircraft, under repair, were damaged, whilst one or two others were struck by splinters. Two non-operational aircraft on charge were damaged but repairable.

After the attack, seven men were left dead, within feet of where the Museum now stands. No. 3 Hangar received several direct hits and the towering Iron Belfast Hangar doors came off their top runners and crushed to death an airman and two civilian employees, Mr. Brisley and Mr. McCaister. Within the hangar Corporal McColl and three more airmen were killed. The site of this death and destruction, for many years after the war was the Hawkinge Parish Council's football pitch and has now been redeveloped with housing.