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Battle of Britain pilot's photo collection gives insight into the lives of WWII RAF heroes

A remarkable never-before-seen photo archive charting the wartime heroics of one of ‘The Few’ has been unearthed on the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Squadron Leader Jocelyn Millard, an RAF flying instructor who volunteered for operational service to help defeat the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1940, took more than 200 photographs during the Second World War.

Now, eight decades later, the pilot’s pictures, which include some from the cockpit of his Hurricane plane, will cast a light on the experiences of the legion of officers who fought in the air battle in 1940 which saw German planes attack the UK.

Among the black and white images are some showing Squadron Leader Millard and other RAF heroes wearing flight gear as they prepare for duty and others showing crew members taking time away from the heat of battle, posing on motorbikes and unwinding in their dormitories.   

Among the incredible black and white images set to go on sale at with C&T Auctions, of Ashford, Kent, is one image of Squadron Leader Jocelyn Millard sitting on the top of an aircraft with his flight gear

Among the incredible black and white images set to go on sale at with C&T Auctions, of Ashford, Kent, is one image of Squadron Leader Jocelyn Millard sitting on the top of an aircraft with his flight gear

Squadron leader Millard was able to capture one man donning a suit and tie as he posed alongside a motorbike while away from the scenes of battle that saw a legion of officers protect the country against German planes sent to attack the UK

Squadron leader Millard was able to capture one man donning a suit and tie as he posed alongside a motorbike while away from the scenes of battle that saw a legion of officers protect the country against German planes sent to attack the UK

The squadron leader completed 30 missions during the Battle of Britain in 1940

Squadron leader Millard (pictured right next to another crew member) served with the No. 1 Squadron at RAF Wittering, Cambridgeshire

Squadron leader Millard (left and on far right with a crew member) volunteered for operational service to help defeat the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1940 and completed more than 30 missions during the air battle

Among the black and white images set to go on sale next month is one showing a pilot wearing their uniform as they sit inside the cockpit while in flight

Among the black and white images set to go on sale next month is one showing a pilot wearing their uniform as they sit inside the cockpit while in flight

Meanwhile others reveal the sombre reality of the war and the great peril faced on every sortie, with archive of aircraft wreckage strewn on the ground amid Hitler’s failed attempt to crush the RAF.

Squadron Leader Millard, who was born in Hertfordshire in 1915, flew alongside legendary pilot Douglas Bader and completed 30 missions during the Battle of Britain. 

While the squadron leader served with the No. 1 Squadron at RAF Wittering, Cambridgeshire, he was reprimanded for a low level sweep of the tower of St Mary’s Church in Baldock, Hertfordshire.

He claimed he had been trying to tell the time on the church clock but a passer-by reported him to the police who traced him through his aircraft number.  

Unlike so many of his comrades, Squadron Leader Millard survived the fierce battle for aerial supremacy with the Luftwaffe.

His comprehensive photo album, containing 250 images, has now emerged for sale alongside six of his flying pennants with C&T Auctions, of Ashford, Kent.

The archive, which is being sold by a private collector and will go on sale on July 8, is expected to fetch £1,600. 

Another image shows members of Winston Churchill's famous  'Few' looking at a note away while back on the ground. The scenes shed a new light on the experiences shared by the legion of officers who bravely fought in the air battle in 1940

Another image shows members of Winston Churchill’s famous  ‘Few’ looking at a note away while back on the ground. The scenes shed a new light on the experiences shared by the legion of officers who bravely fought in the air battle in 1940

Two crew members are pictured near a car while dressed in uniform as they continue in their fight to repel Hitler's Luftwaffe in the summer months of 1940

Two crew members are pictured near a car while dressed in uniform as they continue in their fight to repel Hitler’s Luftwaffe in the summer months of 1940

A group of brave pilots wear their flight gear as they prepare to take to the skies during the Battle Of Britain.  The air battle , which took place from July 10 to October 21, 1940, saw Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) defend the country against Nazi Germany's destructive air raids

A group of brave pilots wear their flight gear as they prepare to take to the skies during the Battle Of Britain.  The air battle , which took place from July 10 to October 21, 1940, saw Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) defend the country against Nazi Germany’s destructive air raids

While some images cast a light on the how crew members relaxed in their spare time, others reveal the aircraft wreckage and the perils of the war

While some images cast a light on the how crew members relaxed in their spare time, others reveal the aircraft wreckage and the perils of the war 

Among the archive is one displaying aircraft parts lie strewn on the ground strewn on the ground as hundreds of RAF pilots continued in their fight over the English Channel

Among the archive is one displaying aircraft parts lie strewn on the ground strewn on the ground as hundreds of RAF pilots continued in their fight over the English Channel

The legion of officers (pictured sitting for a photo), who were hailed as 'The Few' by Winston Churchill  played a crucial role in the defeat of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain

The legion of officers (pictured sitting for a photo), who were hailed as ‘The Few’ by Winston Churchill  played a crucial role in the defeat of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain

Tim Harper, specialist for C&T Auctions, said: ‘This is a stunning photo album and Millard was certainly the model Battle of Britain pilot.

‘You can sense the strong camaraderie there was and also that they lived every day as it was there last as they realised they could be gone the next day.’  

Squadron Leader Millard, whose father died in a submarine accident in 1916 when he was just one-years-old, joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in August 1937 while working for the de Havilland Aircraft Company.

He was called up to the RAF in 1939 and was sent on a flying instructors course and was posted to No. 1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum, Wiltshire.

In September 1940, he volunteered to serve with Fighter Command and was first posted to 1 Squadron at Wittering.

He then moved to 242 Squadron at RAF Coltishall, Norfolk, and served in Douglas Bader’s Big Wing formation.

After the Battle of Britain, Squadron Leader Millard undertook fighter sweeps over Northern France where he shot down a Messerschmidt 109 in one dramatic duel.

He was later posted to Canada to take part in pilot training and instruction, returning to Britain at the end of the Second World War and leaving the RAF in 1947.

A Band of Brothers stand in front of an aircraft in their uniform as the country defends the UK against Nazi Germany's destructive air raids conducted by the Luftwaffe

A Band of Brothers stand in front of an aircraft in their uniform as the country defends the UK against Nazi Germany’s destructive air raids conducted by the Luftwaffe

Another remarkable image shows a pilot controlling an aircraft from the cockpit as the fighter planes soars into the sky

Another remarkable image shows a pilot controlling an aircraft from the cockpit as the fighter planes soars into the sky

One man sits on a motorbike while wearing suit while off-duty

One crew member perches on his friend's shoulders as they enjoy their time away from the battle scene

One man sits on a motorbike in a field (left) while another is seen perched another crew member’s shoulders (right) during their time away from the field of battle

A crew member lies on his bunk bed and takes a well-earned break in his dormitory as he and a legion of pilots fight against the German planes in 1940

A crew member lies on his bunk bed and takes a well-earned break in his dormitory as he and a legion of pilots fight against the German planes in 1940

One image provides a fascinating view from inside the cockpit of fighter planes in flight as Britain tries to fight back Germany's Luftwaffe during the Second World War

One image provides a fascinating view from inside the cockpit of fighter planes in flight as Britain tries to fight back Germany’s Luftwaffe during the Second World War

A crew member looks out of the window of his aircraft as it sits on the ground during the Battle of Britain. The pilots who gave everything in the aerial fight were named 'The Few' after a speech from Sir Winston Churchill

A crew member looks out of the window of his aircraft as it sits on the ground during the Battle of Britain. The pilots who gave everything in the aerial fight were named ‘The Few’ after a speech from Sir Winston Churchill

The comprehensive photo album, which contains 250 images, is being sold by a private collector and is expected to fetch £1,600

The comprehensive photo album, which contains 250 images, is being sold by a private collector and is expected to fetch £1,600

The album contains a number of images showing life away from battle and cast a light on how the brave crew members relaxed in their spare time

The album contains a number of images showing life away from battle and cast a light on how the brave crew members relaxed in their spare time

One incredible picture provides a view of the aircraft's wing from the cockpit window and is among an array of photos that is set to go on sale on July 8

One incredible picture provides a view of the aircraft’s wing from the cockpit window and is among an array of photos that is set to go on sale on July 8

Haunting images of the fallen aircrafts cast a light on the perils of the war and the dangers the pilots faced as they set off into the skies

Haunting images of the fallen aircrafts cast a light on the perils of the war and the dangers the pilots faced as they set off into the skies

The black and white images charting the wartime heroics of one of 'The Few' have been unearthed on the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain

The black and white images charting the wartime heroics of one of ‘The Few’ have been unearthed on the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain

In later life, he worked as an engineer maintaining aircraft for the Ministry of Defence before retiring in 1980.

The squadron leader passed away at the age of 95 on May 10, 2010.  

The Battle of Britain, which took place from July 10 to October 21, 1940, saw Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) defend the country against Nazi Germany’s destructive air raids conducted by the Luftwaffe.

The battle of the skies eventually came to a close at the end of October 1940 when Hitler called off his planned invasion of Britain. 

The pilots who gave everything in the aerial fight for British freedom were named ‘The Few’, after a speech from Sir Winston Churchill, who said: ‘The gratitude of every home in our island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion.

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

GLORIOUS FEW WHO STOOD AGAINST NAZI DOMINATION 

They fought the most important battle this country has ever faced and their victory saved Britain from the tyranny of Nazi Germany.

The heroes of the Battle of Britain repelled Hitler’s Luftwaffe in the summer months of 1940 but now only one of ‘The Few’ is still alive.

At the time, they were in their late teens or early 20s when they took to the skies in Spitfires and Hurricanes between July and October 1940.

Others flew in Blenheims, Beaufighters and Defiants, becoming the ‘aces’ of the Battle, shooting down plane after plane.

Hundreds of RAF pilots were killed in dog fights over the English Channel, the control of which proved a critical turning point in the war. 

During the Battle, Sir Winston Churchill said: ‘The gratitude of every home in our island, in our empire, and indeed throughout the world, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion.

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

When it was over, 544 RAF pilots and aircrew were dead and had made the ultimate sacrifice to keep generations of Britons safe.

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Written by Angle News

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