by Steve Roberts
My wife and I have been re-enacting in the UK for the last ten years. We belong to two groups currently, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Re-enactors and the Northern Forties Re-enactment Group. We both represent a number of different roles. Apart from the ATA [Air Transport Auxiliary], Lesley re-enacts as either Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Auxiliary Territorial Service (Women's Army), or USAAC [United States Army Air Corps] nurse.
For myself, I mainly do RAF of Royal Navy, occasionally USAAC -9th Air Force or US 101st Airborne. We can both dress in full flying kit and we have a large display of air force equipment, artifacts and weapons. Other members of our groups have period vehicles and a full size replica Spitfire fighter. A full size Messerschmitt 109 fighter is on the way.
As the BBMF, we occasionally get to work with the Lancaster, Spitfires and Hurricanes of the Memorial Flight. One of the photographs shows our group with the Canadian Warplane Heritage Lancaster bomber "VR-A" back in 2014 when she was over in the UK.
Our aim is to make our representations as accurate as possible as a mark of respect to the memory of the people we are representing. The reason for our commitment to the world of 1940's re-enactment is to honour the memory of our fathers, both of whom fought in World War 2. Lesley's father was part of the B.E.F. [British Expeditionary Force] in France in 1940, and my father was part of Operation Overlord in 1944. Both were wounded seriously enough to take them out of the war although both survived.