Research into the ambitious eight-part history of the Battle of Britain being written by renowned historian and author Dilip Sarkar MBE has been boosted by the appointment to the team of history graduate Sarah Halil.
Sarah, who is already a member of the Trust’s Friends of the Few supporters’ group, has volunteered to work alongside Dilip to help with 'Battle of Britain: The People's Project', a public engagement project launched last year to encourage members of the public to come forward with material on the impact of the Battle gleaned from family archives.
The project aims to find new stories and information that can be included in the eight-volume masterwork being published by Pen & Sword Books in association with the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.
Sarah’s arrival will give Dilip more time to focus on writing the series, of which the first volume, The Gathering Storm: Prelude to the Spitfire Summer of 1940, has just been published.
As well as supporting the public engagement project in her role as research assistant, Sarah will be helping provide material for volume eight of the series, which will feature a guide to museums, memorials and other places of interest with links to the Battle.
Dilip, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, said it was “heart-warming to have the support of such a promising and enthusiastic young historian”, adding: “I look forward to working with and training Sarah in the necessary research skills and introducing her to a wide range of sources, people and places.
“Sarah will be running and administering ‘The People's Project’, enabling me to concentrate fully of analysing the material harvested and, indeed, writing the eight-volume series.”
Sarah, who graduated last year and has a keen interest in the Second World War, aviation history and the Battle of Britain, said she was “unbelievably honoured to be working on such an important project”.
She went on: “I'm looking forward to making a valuable contribution to this project, one that is fundamental to preserving the stories of a remarkable group of people who made, in many cases, the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of Britain.
“It is imperative that we preserve existing stories, as well as discovering new ones where possible, to allow the memories of The Few and all those involved in the Battle of Britain to be immortalised.”
See more about the people’s project here
Sarah can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read Dilip’s blog on the launch of volume one at Battle of Britain The Gathering Storm: Prelude to the Spitfire Summer of 1940 - Pen & Sword Blog