Image courtesy of 'Yesterday Channel'

 

Yesterday: Sky 537, Virgin 203, Freeview 12

The Heroes of Biggin Hill first shown Thursday 12th August 2010, 10pm

Date of repeat to follow when details known.

Biggin Hill is the most famous fighter station in the world, an iconic airbase renowned for its pivotal role in the Battle of Britain. ‘The Heroes of Biggin Hill’ is the fourth part in a season of programming around the ‘Spirit of 1940’ that Yesterday has commissioned to celebrate the bravery and courage that went on during this momentous year. This fascinating documentary tells the story of the battle that the daring fighter pilots fought with the support of the whole community.

Hitler’s line of attack was to destroy British airbases, making Biggin Hill a prime target with its proximity to London. After some major successes against the Luftwaffe, Biggin Hill raised itself as a real threat, resulting in German bombing long before London in the Blitz. The local residents were bombarded and the loss of life was extreme. A clever tactic from the Group Captain Grice, saw the remaining hangar blown up convincing the Germans the base was finished and giving Biggin Hill the chance to regroup. Back with more determination and courage than ever, Biggin Hill continued to fight and play its part in protecting the country from enemy occupation.

The programme tells the story of the valiant pilots, as well as the community at the base and its environs who kept “the few” flying. Perhaps the most incredible bravery came from three women- Elspeth Henderson, Elizabeth Mortimer and Helen Turner, who continued to man the phones despite being told to go to shelters. They all received the Military Medal; the first women to ever get the honour. Elspeth Green’s daughter gives a heartfelt account of her mother’s story.

An expert eye is cast across the history of the airbase by historians who have in some cases given their lives to researching Biggin Hill. Haven spoken with veterans for many years their in-depth knowledge gives a true insight into what actually happened all those years ago. Their credible interpretation of events bring to life the Biggin Hill story and celebrates the lives of all that fought there.

Tune in to The Heroes of Biggin Hill exclusively on Yesterday: Sky 537, Virgin 203, Freeview 12 on Thursday 12th August at 10pm. Enjoy during prime time thanks to Yesterday’s extended hours on Freeview. For more information go to www.visityesterday.co.uk

 

Click on the links to the clips which did not make it to the final program but are interesting none the less. All clips shown here are with the permission of 'Yesterday Channel' copyright 2010.