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70th anniversary tribute to the few

The 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain is being marked with a reading of one of Winston Churchill's most famous speeches and a fly-past.

Churchill's stirring "so much owed by so many to so few" address will be read at 3.52pm on Friday, exactly 70 years after the wartime prime minister delivered it in Parliament.

The ceremony outside the Churchill War Rooms in central London is being followed by a fly-past from a Spitfire and Hurricane over Whitehall. Veterans from the 1940 battle will also be present.

It began on July 10 1940 and ended on October 31 that year.

More than 2,900 British, Commonwealth and Allied aircrew took part and successfully fought off the Luftwaffe.

The triumph helped wreck Hitler's plans to invade Britain and lay the foundations for Allied victory five years later.

It was celebrated in Churchill's speech of August 20, 1940, when he told MPs: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Phil Reed, director of Churchill War Rooms, said: "In this speech, Churchill epitomised his ability to capture in the most stirring way the spirit of a nation fighting for its existence, as Britain stood firm against the Nazi war machine.

"Now part of the general folklore of the battle, the speech is today considered a defining moment of the conflict and one of Churchill's most emotive and stirring pronouncements."


From Belfast Telegraph