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feeling proud to be British

(352 Posts)
seasider Sun 11-Aug-13 18:58:27

been to Blackpool air show today and had a lump in my throat when the Battle of Britain flight came over. I was so impressed with the power of the Typhoon and the sheer skill of the Red Arrows. It made me very proud to be British and if I did not have to work could do it all again tomorrow!smile

j08 Sun 11-Aug-13 19:09:43

I know just what you mean seasider. The last time I saw the Battle of Britain Flight, a few weeks back, I felt the same. I don't know if it's a getting older thing, but it made me think of how close we came to being invaded back then, and how much we owe to all those young men who lost their lives.

We have a lot to be proud of still.

j08 Sun 11-Aug-13 19:11:37

When we were walking by the Thames this afternoon we saw a little boat with a gold plaque on the side that said quite simply, "Dunkirk 1940". That was quite something too. smile

nanaej Sun 11-Aug-13 19:25:29

I am proud too..but I did not see any planes or boats! Just some photos on FB of my lovely nephew and his partner..glad we are not in Russia.

Deedaa Sun 11-Aug-13 21:58:49

A couple of years ago I'd just gone outside the front door for something when I heard an odd noise. Couldn't place what sort of plane it was, and then as it came over the house I realised it was the Lancaster from the Battle of Britain Flight! I was so thrilled! My father worked on Lancasters during the war smile

merlotgran Sun 11-Aug-13 22:06:43

My brother was CO at RAF Coningsby where the Battle of Britain Flight is based. Now he is retired he lives nearby and says he will never tire of hearing the familiar sound as they return 'home' and the lump it brings to his throat.

PRINTMISS Mon 12-Aug-13 09:07:18

As I remember it, it was the returning home noise that our family would listen to, murmuring 'they're ours'. We have a friend who repaired the damaged planes on return, and he still has tears in his eyes when he tells how they counted the planes back. We really have no idea, do we.

seasider Mon 12-Aug-13 23:17:58

When I saw the Lancaster I did wonder how the enemy felt when they saw them approaching. The noise of the engine seemed very familiar it must be from all the war films I have seen smile

Deedaa Tue 13-Aug-13 23:53:46

I was living in Cornwall during the 80's and my mother and I were out near Culdrose Naval Airstation the day the Seakings flew back in from the Falklands. That was a wonderful feeling, seeing "Our" helicopters flying home safely. smile

grannyactivist Wed 14-Aug-13 00:18:22

A few years ago I was visiting an elderly couple who had recently moved into the area. It was only the third or fourth time I'd met them and the husband was a very flirty eighty seven year old with a quiet, unassuming wife whom he obviously adored. They told me that after they celebrated their diamond wedding they sold up to go travelling but health problems had forced them to change their plans and they settled nearby. On this occasion I accepted a cup of tea and the husband began to chat. Eventually he began to talk of his experiences as an airman during the Battle of Britain and described (in horrific detail) a particularly harrowing event he had witnessed and which caused the death of his best friend in front of him. He began to sob; he cried as if his heart was breaking and then took himself off to the bedroom to recover. Whilst he was away his wife, also a little tearful, explained that he had never before been able to speak of that event and she hoped that he would now finally be able to let it go. I was quite shaken at the power the memories still had to wound even after so many years. sad

feetlebaum Thu 15-Aug-13 12:46:26

@seasider : The Lanc did sound rather good - the equivalent of four Spitfires or Hurricanes or two Mosquitos! Four Rolls-Royce Merlin engines kicked out a hell of a lot of power.

I read somewhere that the Avro Lancaster could carry twice the bomb load of a B-17 Flying Fortress - it was certainly an enormous bomb-bay. I remember one being parked in Trafalgar Square as part of a war effort drive - I was allowed to clamber about inside it which was quite a thrill. I would have been five or six years old.

Daisyanswerdo Thu 15-Aug-13 12:54:17

I was a child in the war; we learned the difference in the sound between British and German aircraft engines - 'that's one of ours', - but I remember the fear if it wasn't, and running to the nearest air-raid shelter when the alarm sounded.

Movedalot Thu 15-Aug-13 13:16:13

My father was a pilot in the war and although he talked a lot about the planes and life in the RAF he never talked about the bombing raids at all. I wonder if he was too shocked by it all?

janthea Thu 15-Aug-13 13:55:34

I'm lucky enough to work for the company that makes Typhoon aircraft and the Red Arrows' Hawk aircraft. One of my favourite was the Harrier Jump Jet.

Nelliemoser Thu 15-Aug-13 13:56:39

Anything ceremonial gives me a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.
Local lads from the Mercian regiment; presumably returning from a tour of of duty in Afghanistan; marched through our local town a few weeks ago while I was doing my usual weekly shopping trip. I am not militaristic but it still got me going.

feetlebaum Thu 15-Aug-13 14:25:47

@Daisyanswerdo - I remember that the German pilots used to run their engines out of synchronization - I suppose to make it sound as though there were more of them than there actually were.

Daisyanswerdo Thu 15-Aug-13 18:44:56

That's interesting feetlebaum - I've never heard that before. They did sound very 'rough' - as did those doodlebugs, of course.

dahlia Thu 15-Aug-13 20:10:52

"Last night of the proms" always gets me waving my imaginary flag!

liminetta Fri 16-Aug-13 07:43:43

I , too, am very proud to be Britigh, and feel honour and respect for all those whoe fought for, and gave us our freedom, at great cost.
Every day, I silently give thanks for those who have kept our country free from oppression, so that my children and grandchildren may live without fear.

LizG Fri 16-Aug-13 08:05:49

My father also flew in Lancasters and very rarely spoke of his experiences other than to talk of sadness at 'counting them out and counting them back'.

worlie Fri 16-Aug-13 13:17:02

well i`m proud to be English DOES THAT COUNT?

Nonu Fri 16-Aug-13 13:34:10

I think so !!

smile

Thistledoo Fri 16-Aug-13 14:00:47

Yes I agree with all the comments about feeling good about being British. My Dad was on the beaches in Dunkirk and was rescued by a destroyer. He rarely spoke much about his experience except to say that had it not been for the small boats and the heroic actions of so many brave and generous British people, all the soldiers on that beach would have been lost. BRITISH love it. crown

trixie Fri 16-Aug-13 14:02:29

I was doing research for a dissertation at Poitiers University in France in 1991 and interviewed a number of people who had lived through the German Occupation. They were full of admiration for the way our country stood against the Nazis, the terrible bombing of our cities (which they avoided because of their surrender in June 1940) and our "don't give in" spirit.

I felt very proud on behalf of all those people who gave their lives for our freedom.

Granny23 Fri 16-Aug-13 14:37:14

I'm with Worlie on this one. I am very proud to be Scottish, but have never, ever described myself as British which is an artificial construct, not a nationality.

I struggle with the concept of 'pride' in relation to our armed forces. Whilst respecting the bravery of the young men and women, I am aware that many/most of them in WWII were conscripts, rather than volunteers and I cannot really take pride in a nation that ordered men away from their families and sent many to their deaths and are still sending our troops into danger, nowadays for reasons which are very obscure.

AN ASIDE - Just been reading the 'Student Finance' Blog on Gransnet and noted that it said that 'Students throughout the UK' have just got their A level results and went on to give details of Tuition Fees, Grants etc. with not a mention of the different circumstances in Scotland where students have had their HIGHERS results for a few weeks and thanks to the Scottish Government do not have to pay tuition fees. Another small annoyance over UK or GB = England - but also another reason to be proud to be Scottish!