Went to a Battle of Britain 70th anniversary commemorative dinner as a guest of Lockheed Martin last week, and stirring stuff it was too. RAF bands and actors reading out extracts from wartime diaries to Churchill's speeches, and all in the splendid surroundings of London's Guildhall, the 800-year old home of the City's fathers, which somehow survived the Blitz along with its neighbour St Paul's Cathedral. Our debt to the Few remains immense, but also, lest it be forgotten, to the Many: from the crews of Bomber Command to the Royal Navy to the anti-aircraft gunners and the Home Guard, to the long-suffering populations of London and the other bombed cities. Their courage and stoicism helped to keep Britain going through its darkest hour.
I'm delighted Second World War history - and particularly the home front - remains a key part of the history curriculum in UK schools. My children, who are learning about the Battle of Britain and the Blitz, had grandparents who lived through it and played - in a small way - a part in Hitler's downfall (my father as an army driver in the Normandy landings and my mother who, as a schoolgirl, gave up her bedroom to child evacuees from the city). Events 70 years ago directly shaped the lives my children live today and we owe our comfortable and free existence to the sacrifice of those who stood up to Germany in 1940.