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Battle of Britain Day 15th September.

TeeGee
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Battle of Britain Day 15th September.

80 Years ago today The Germans abandoned their attempt to invade the UK thanks to the heroics of RAF fighter pilots.

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few....."

Their bravery (among others) saved our country for future generations.

Worth a few moments quiet reflection.

 

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Minivanman
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Re: Battle of Britain Day 15th September.

It was certainly a close call that's for sure and the pilots were all so young with an average age of only 20.

As a youngster a shade younger m'self back in my motorbike days, we used to hang out in a cafe just down from Biggin Hill and I can remember when some renovation work uncovered an entire wall covered in drawing and messages that had been left there by the pilots. Whether the any of it is still there now I've no idea as the last time I saw it was back in the 80s when it had been turned into a kind of garden centre.

Never heard mention of the place in all my years until the other night and perhaps because of current events when watching a program where it was shown as club of sorts where the pilots would hang out - as a kind of NAFFI maybe?

We knew it as the Nightingale and knock me sideways, it was known by the very same name during those war years, and I never knew that. 

Brave lads to be sure, and far tougher that we all thought we were with our bikes instead of their Spitfires.

 

   


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ffox
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Re: Battle of Britain Day 15th September.

The NAAFI was intended to be a cafe/bar solely for other ranks. Officers and senior NCOs had similar facilities in their respective Messes and didn't intrude.  The civilian Nightingale cafe (not subject to the rather stuffy service rules and customs) was a good place for everyone involved in the war effort to get together over a snack and chew the fat without constraint.  

Minivanman
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Re: Battle of Britain Day 15th September.

@ffox 

So was 'Nightingale' a generic term for all such places within the RAF then?

Hard to imagine it just being a civilian cafe for everybody as it really was out of the way and I cannot recall hearing the name being in general use elsewhere. Maybe you had to have been in the services to know about them.

All interesting stuff.

  


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ffox
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Re: Battle of Britain Day 15th September.

No, that Nightingale was a one-off as far as I know.  Usually the all-ranks meeting place was a local pub.  The mingling greatly reduced after the war.