september, 2019

sun15sep11:30 am12:30 pmBattle of Britain 79th anniversary79th anniversary of The Battle of Britain11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Event Details


15th September was the decisive day of the Battle of Britain and 2019 marks the 79th anniversary. East Grinstead has great and lasting connections with the brave airman of the battle as many of them were treated for injuries sustained, mostly burns, at the Queen Victoria Hospital by pioneering plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe.  On this day Sunday 15th September 2019 East Grinstead will  come together to remember and commemorate the Battle, the injured airmen known as The Guinea Pig Club and and McIndoe.

There will be two elements to the day.

1 – A film festival , raising money for the Queen Vicoria Hospital and The Spitfire Society.   Three films will be available to watch.

Historian Paul Beaver will recount the battle in a historical presentation.

Paul Beaver is an aviation historian, broadcaster and writer who specialises in the 1930s and 1940s. He is very much a hands-on historian with his own vintage aeroplane company, Monty’s Messenger Ltd, which owns and operates a Miles Messenger marked as Field Marshal Montgomery’s aeroplane at the time of D-Day. Amongst other types in his log book include Spitfire, Lancaster and Mustang.

For 15 years, Paul was directly linked to Jane’s including Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Jane’s Defence Weekly. He made JDW into a household name in 1990 through his broadcasting during the Liberation of Kuwait and eventually became a freelance war correspondent for Sky News and a studio ‘expert’ for BBC News and CNN International, for whom he jointly presented the 50th Anniversary of D-Day (from Normandy) and VE-Day (from Moscow). During this time, Paul wrote more than 40 books on naval and aviation history.

During his freelance broadcasting career, Paul researched, wrote and presented a number of 30 min documentaries for Sky News, including on the background to the Bosnian (1997) and Kosovo conflicts (1999), Cold War (1999) and The Battle of Britain (2000) which included new research into the everyday life of the pilots and groundcrew. His original on-camera interviews with veterans are archived with the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.

Paul retired from the Army Reserve in 2013 with the rank of Colonel, late of the Army Air Corps. He is now Trustee of the International Bomber Command Centre and senior advisor to the Aviation Skills Partnership which works with local government to create skills academies across Britain. The first, in Norwich, will open in September 2017. He also is a committee member of the Air Power Association, a member of the Royal Air Force Historical Society and the British Commission for Military History.


Dr Emily Mayhew will be signing copies of her books. She is a military medical historian specialising in the study of severe casualty, its infliction, treatment and long-term outcomes in 20th and 21st century warfare. She is historian in residence in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College, and a Research Fellow in the Division of Surgery within the Department of Surgery and Cancer. She is the author of

The Guinea Pig Club: Archibald McIndoe, the Royal Air Force and the Reconstruction of Warriors

Timings and ticket prices can be found 

Chequer Mead, De La Warr Road, East Grinstead RH19 3BS

Tickets available from the Box office 01342 302000


2 – A service of Dedication of the Sir Archibald McIndoe statue.

11.30am High Street East Grinstead. Members of the public are invited to attend the service. High St will be closed from 11am to 12pm. Models of Spitfire and Lancaster planes will be placed on the McIndoe lawn.

Order of service.

Welcome by the Town Mayor

The Town Mayor and Deputy Lieutenant will place the final model planes.

A few words about-

The Role of the RAF in the Battle of Britain:

The Guinea Pig Club: Tom Cochrane

Blessing: Father Andrew Hawken

Guinea Pig Club Anthem sung by the choir

‘We shall not forget’

The Last Post

1 minute silence

The National Anthem





(Sunday) 11:30 am - 12:30 pm


High Street

High Street

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