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These Objects Tell The Story Of One Casualty From The Battle Of Britain

The Battle of Britain, the aerial struggle between German and British air forces, took place during the late summer and autumn of 1940. During this time hundreds of British and Allied pilots were killed.

One of these casualties was pilot Officer Frederick Cecil Harrold, a Royal Air Force (RAF) Hurricane Pilot from Cambridge. He was killed in action on Saturday 28 September 1940, when his Hurricane was shot down by a Messerschmitt Bf 109 over Deal in Kent, just two days after being posted to 501 Squadron. He was buried at St Andrews Churchyard Cemetery, Cherry Hinton in Cambridgeshire.

These objects include items Frederick had with him when his aircraft came down, wreckage from the plane and his medals.

  • RAF wings

    RAF Wings belonging to Pilot Officer Frederick Cecil Harrold.
    RAF Wings belonging to Pilot Officer Frederick Cecil Harrold.
    INS 8309

    RAF Wings belonging to Pilot Officer Frederick Cecil Harrold. These wings would have been sewn onto his jacket.

  • Religious medallion

    A religious medallion which belonged to Frederick.
    A religious medallion which belonged to Frederick.
    EPH 10138

    A religious medallion which belonged to Frederick.

  • RAF cigarette case

    RAF cigarette case, likely to have been included in Frederick’s personal effects when he died.
    RAF cigarette case, likely to have been included in Frederick’s personal effects when he died.
    EPH 10133

    RAF cigarette case, likely to have been included in Frederick’s personal effects when he died.

  • Identity disk

    Frederick’s damaged identity disk, likely to have been on him when he died.
    Frederick’s damaged identity disk, likely to have been on him when he died.
    EQU 4486

    Frederick’s damaged identity disk, likely to have been on him when he died.

  • Door key

    Bent door key.
    Bent door key.
    EPH 10136

    Bent door key.

  • Perspex fragment

    Perspex fragment from Frederick’s Hurricane – excavated from the crash site.
    Perspex fragment from Frederick’s Hurricane – excavated from the crash site.
    EPH 10137

    Perspex fragment from Frederick’s Hurricane – excavated from the crash site.

  • Aircraft fragments

    Aircraft fragments from Frederick’s Hurricane.
    Aircraft fragments from Frederick’s Hurricane.
    EPH 10134

    Aircraft fragments from Frederick’s Hurricane.

  • Jacket

    Frederick’s jacket from his service dress uniform. We believe this is what Frederick was wearing when he was killed.
    Frederick’s jacket from his service dress uniform. We believe this is what Frederick was wearing when he was killed.
    UNI 13724

    Frederick’s jacket from his service dress uniform. It appears that this is what Frederick was wearing when he was killed. The jacket and trousers clearly show evidence of severe wounds from the left side to the right. Both had been cleaned before we acquired them but there is still some staining and discoloration on the fabric.

  • Medals

    Star with 'Battle of Britain' clasp and other medals awarded to Pilot Officer Frederick Cecil Harrold.
    Star with 'Battle of Britain' clasp and other medals awarded to Pilot Officer Frederick Cecil Harrold.
    OMD 6914

    Star with 'Battle of Britain' clasp and other medals awarded to Pilot Officer Frederick Cecil Harrold.