Prior to World War Two private flying clubs used West Malling airfield. However, as war loomed West Malling airfield was requisitioned and quickly developed so that the base had air raid shelters, two grass runways, anti-aircraft emplacements and aircraft hangers. West Malling was tasked to act as a forward air base to Biggin Hill and Kenley - though for a number of months into the war, it was not able to fulfil this role.
As with all aspects of heraldry, heraldic terms were very important in that they described a very specific part of heraldry and had a very specific meaning. Accosted: side by side Addorsed: back to back Affronté: when an animal is seen in full front view Aislé: with wings Ambulent: walking Ancient Crown: a circlet with 4 fleurs-de-lis on it (3 visible) Apaumé: referring to a hand showing the palm Arched: like an arch Armed: referring to claws, teeth, horns or talons of animals/birds Armigerous: applied to people who possessed coats of arms Armorial bearings: another name for achievement of arms At gaze: applied to a stag with its face looking at you Attires: the horns of a deer Attired: referring to horns Augmentation: a special grant that allowed additions to a coat of arms often as a result of a special deed Banded: with a band or ribbon around Bars gemelles: barrulets placed in pairs Barbed and seeded proper: a heraldic rose with five leaves in a natural colour Beaked: referred to the beaks of birds and creatures like a griffin.
While pilots from abroad fought with distinction in the Battle of Britain, the majority of pilots were from Great Britain. No official record of Battle of Britain pilots survived World War Two - only those who had died, and it is their names that are on a memorial in Westminster Abbey, which was unveiled in 1947.
General Percy Hobart found fame at the D-Day landings of June 1944 with his so-called “funnies”. Hobart had served in the Royal Tank Corps and saw the value of armoured vehicles being used for other 'duties'. Far from being “funnies”, his vehicles saved many Allied soldiers during the Normandy landings.
Catherine Parr was born around 1512. She was Henry VIII's sixth and final wife. Catherine had already been married to a man called Lord Borough. She was in her teens and he was in his sixties when they married. Lord Borough soon died but Catherine soon re-married to a man called Lord Latimer. He was a frequent visitor to the royal court and Henry soon took note of Lady Latimer - Catherine.
Flying a Spitfire for the first time as a newly qualified pilot must have been a daunting prospect. A Spitfire was much faster than any RAF trainer aircraft and far more manoeuvrable - an altogether different flying experience. It was generally thought that if a novice Spitfire pilot could survive his first week in combat during the Battle of Britain, then he had a good chance of lasting for the duration of the battle, as his fist week would have been a very steep learning curve.