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Wales And The Battle Of Britain Exhibition

Battle of Britain Exhibition

The RAF’s official ‘Wales and the Battle of Britain Exhibition’ is being hosted by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council at its Llys Cadwyn building in Pontypridd this week.

It was officially opened on Monday (November 15) by Councillor Maureen Webber, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion, and Air Commodore Wales, Adrian Williams OBE.

The Wales and the Battle of Britain 80th Anniversary Exhibition is open daily at Llys Cadwyn, Taff Street, Pontypridd, until 1pm on Saturday, November 20. Admission is FREE

Councillor Maureen Webber, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion, said: “I am delighted that we are able to host the Battle of Britain 80th Anniversary Exhibition in our County Borough, allowing our residents of all ages to come along and find out more about what happened in the skies during wartime and to pay their respects to the Fallen and to those who eventually returned home to their loved ones. 

“The Battle of Britain, the largest air battle ever recorded, was one of the most pivotal and iconic moments in the history of this country. It marked a turning point of the Second World War when Britain stood alone against Hitler's seemingly unstoppable military power. 

“This exhibition will be the perfect opportunity for the many people of Rhondda Cynon Taf to remember the heroism of The Few.” 

Although the Exhibition commemorates all those who fought in the Battle of Britain, its main focus is on the Welsh aircrew who fought in the skies during wartime, telling of their stories and heroism to a modern Welsh audience. 

Air Commodore Adrian Williams OBE, Air Officer Wales, the senior RAF officer in Wales, said: “I am delighted that the Wales and the Battle of Britain 80th Anniversary Exhibition is in Pontypridd, telling the Battle of Britain story from a Welsh perspective, which has never been told before.

“I would like to thank Rhondda Cynon Taf Council for hosting us and I hope all the visitors have a memorable experience at the Exhibition.

During the summer of 1940, the people of Britain were bracing themselves for a German invasion, but before this could happen their leader first had to gain air superiority. 

The Luftwaffe, which consisted of 2,600 aircraft, launched a large-scale attack, intent on wiping out Britain's air defences - a Royal Air Force Fighter Command of 640 aircraft. 

The RAF pilots, who became known as ‘The Few,’ stood up to wave after wave of German fighters and bombers, sending a clear message to the enemy that Britain would never surrender. The RAF had 3,000 pilots serving with Fighter Command, with an average age of 20 - four of whom were residents of Rhondda Cynon Taf. 

Although RAF Fighter Command was outnumbered in July 1940, Britain ramped up factory production and by October the same year, Fighter Command had more fighter planes than the Luftwaffe. A total of 17 of the 68 Welsh pilots lost their lives during the Battle of Britain.

Posted on 18/11/2021