In pictures... the Battle of Britain is commemorated

In pictures... the Battle of Britain is commemorated

ALL around the country today, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain has been commemorated.

The almost four-month conflict between German and British forces was the4 first major air battle during the war – and resulted in the loss of more than 40,000 lives.

Today, the battle was commemorated with a fly-past at Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth II was joined by her husband, Prince Philip, and several other members of the royal family to watch the RAF display.

The battle was fought by thousands of British troops – but also included a contingent of Irishmen.

One of the best remembered troops from Ireland was Dublin man Brendan Finucane, fondly known as Paddy by his fellow soldiers.

Paddy, who settled in Richmond, was positioned in the No. 65 squadron in Essex just as the Battle of Britain was getting underway. At just 19 years of age, he was one of the younger troops.

However, his Irish wit and charm soon endeared him to his colleagues and he was widely popular.

Despite surviving the Battle of Britain, Paddy would not make it through the war – with his aircraft shot down by the Germans in 1042.

When he was killed in action, Paddy was widely mourned with more than 3,000 attending a memorial service for him in Westminster Cathedral. A ward at Richmond Hospital was also renamed the Finucane Ward in his memory – and a road in Richmond is named Finucane Drive.

Paddy was one of eleven troops from Ireland who fought in the Battle of Britain.

Some, like Paddy himself, survived the battle and were later killed in action; while others were shot down between July and October 1940 as the Germans and British took to the skies of London.

Take a look at some pictures from today’s memorials below