Hawkinge museum unveils new Battle of Britain sculpture

The Kent Battle of Britain Museum has re-created a famous photograph from the summer of 1940
The bronze statues of seven No 32 Squadron pilots in front of one of Hawkinge’s three Hurricane replicas.
The bronze statues of seven No 32 Squadron pilots in front of one of Hawkinge’s three Hurricane replicas. DAVE BROCKLEHURST

On 29 July at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum in Hawkinge, the new ‘Spirit of The Few’ Monument was unveiled, 32 years after museum curator Dave Brocklehurst MBE had the idea to re-create a famous photograph taken of seven airmen from No 32 Squadron on 29 July 1940 in sculptural form. The photo was taken only a couple of hundred yards away from where the museum is now housed, and the monument sees the airmen re-created in life-size bronze sculptures. Unusually, only one of the seven was to lose his life during the Second World War, enabling many sons and daughters of the pilots to attend the unveiling.

Dave Brocklehurst says, “For around 20 years we have had the three gate guardian Hurricane replicas on display as a centrepiece in the museum grounds, and every time I walked past, I visualised the seven airmen in bronze in front, with the backdrop of these Hurricanes”. Appropriately, four airworthy Hurricanes provided an aerial salute at the unveiling.

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