"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers..."

(Henry V by William Shakespeare)

Its 20th August 1940 and Prime Minister Winston Churchill turns to The Bard for inspiration, when delivering a speech on the ongoing struggle in the skies over England.

Britain's destiny hangs in the balance. The threat of German invasion is all too real and control of the air would give the enemy a huge advantage. The Royal Air Force are literally involved in the fight of their lives.  The Germans call it 'Luftschlacht um England' ('the air battle for England').

filming at Middleton

The RAF men number nearly 3000: Pilots from Britain, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Jamaica, South Africa and across the Empire. Exiles from the occupied countries of Poland and Czechoslovakia also fight the Luftwaffe under the British flag.

Fuel for the Few

The battle is still raging when Churchill makes his speech; but the debt the nation owes to the pilots is already clear.

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

By October, 'The Few' had achieved air supremacy.  It's a turning point in the war.

Middleton and Heysham

To the many RAF servicemen and women stationed around Morecambe; the air war was personal. As for the civilians working at the huge government facility in Middleton and Heysham - we can only speculate as to whether they realised the true importance of their secret work...

Do you have wartime family memories or photographs from the Middleton refinery?  We'd love to hear from you - just drop us an email.


7 thoughts on “FUEL FOR THE FEW

  1. Excellent – well done ! Another very informative film !

  2. a rather snazzy ending!

  3. What was the name of the street in Heysham?

  4. Fascinating. We will have a walk over there soon to look for these wartime relics.

    • Post Author The LuneTube Team

      It’s quite difficult to find, Louise, but well worth the effort! It’s a vast site. We’ll email you a map to help you on your way 🙂

  5. Excellent ! Read somewhere about a bombing raid on Heysham , but account was a bit vague.
    I worked up on the old I.C.I. site from 1978 to 1980 and from time to time cut through the refinery site as a shortcut.

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