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Wales And The Battle Of Britain Exhibition

Written by on 21st October 2021

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is hosting the Wales and the Battle of Britain 80th Anniversary Exhibition as part of its nationwide commemorations marking an important chapter in the history of the Second World War.

Although the tour will commemorate all those who fought in the Battle, the main focus will be on the Welsh aircrew who fought, telling of their stories and heroism to a modern Welsh audience.

The Wales and the Battle of Britain 80th Anniversary Exhibition will be open daily to the public at Llys Cadwyn, Taff Street, Pontypridd, CF37 4TH, on November 15-20. 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.” 

Air Commodore Adrian Williams, 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 coming to Pontypridd. 

“The exhibition tells the untold story from a Welsh perspective, including information on the Royal Observer Corps, the story of Edward Bowen, from Swansea, who played an important role in the invention of radar, and also how RAF stations in Wales, together with local communities across Wales, all contributed to victory in 1940.” 

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.

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.

The RAF claimed victory in the skies in October 1940 and Hitler called off his invasion plans. Wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill famously said:

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

The Wales and the Battle of Britain 80th Anniversary Exhibition takes place at Llys Cadwyn, Taff Street, Pontypridd, from 2pm on Monday, November 15, to 1pm on Saturday, November 20. Admission is FREE.