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Battle-of-Britain3

Harry as pictured on the cover of the third edition

All of the characters that appear in Battle of Britain.

Main characters[]

Harry Woods[]

Main article: Harry Woods

Pilot Officer Harry Woods (born 1921)[1] was the only son of Mr and Mrs Woods, and brother of Edith. He joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve in January 1939 and became a full-fledged pilot belonging to the 11 Group in the Royal Air Force. Harry's squadron was located in South East England and was close to the German bases in France. He became good friends with fellow pilot Mike "Lenny" Leonard. Harry soon found himself in the midst of the Battle of Britain. The months-long battle kept him in an almost constant state of tension, deeply affecting his usually happy and joking disposition.

Supporting characters[]

Edith Woods[]

Edith Woods was the only daughter of Mr and Mrs Woods, and the sister of Harry. She was a very compassionate person and outspoken about her beliefs. By September 1939, she was in London training to be a nurse. Edith was a fully fledged nurse by June 1940. When Harry met her in London for a movie, he commented that she looked "pretty glamorous" with her hair up and wearing "tons of make-up," though their mother likely would not approve. In September 1940, London was bombed by the Germans for the first time. Edith's job became as she helped care for the injured civilians. She later asked her parents to take in Peter, a child of her coworker whom was worried for his safety.

Harriet[]

Harriet was a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. Harry stated that he liked her "despite the fact that she nearly [ran him] over on her way in." He also described her as having green eyes. In October 1940, he was talking to Harriet when they saw a plane about to crash land. She drove him over to the site, where the locals were having a heated exchange with the pilot, Waldemar Gorka, whom they mistook for a German. Harriet helped diffuse the situation. By April 1941, she and Harry were writing to one another, hinting that they had possibly started a relationship.

Mike Leonard[]

Pilot Officer Mike Leonard, also known as Lenny, was a pilot of the 11 Group in the Royal Air Force. His father disapproved of him going into the RAF. In early 1940, while out for a practice run, Lenny had to bale out of his Spitfire. He survived without a "scratch on him," leading the other guys to pat him on the back for luck before flying. Despite their first meeting getting off to a wrong start, Lenny became good friends with Harry. He was injured in battle in August, causing him to lose a leg. Harry visited him several times while he was recuperating in the hospital. In October, Harry and several others met up with Lenny after he was discharged. He had a prosthetic leg and was preparing for a "desk job" with the RAF.

Peter[]

Peter was a young evacuee taken in by Mr and Mrs Woods due to the London bombings in September 1940. His mother worked as a nurse with Edith, whom asked her parents to take Peter in. Harry described him as having a "flop of blond hair" and being "thin as a rake with bony legs" upon meeting him. Peter's father was a Fascist and he parroted his father's beliefs about Jews in front of Harry. In response, Harry lifted up Peter and pinned him against the wall until Mrs Woods yelled at him to stop. He was a little shaken by the event, but quickly forgave Harry when he later offered to take him to see Pinocchio.

Waldemar Gorka[]

Waldemar Gorka was a Polish pilot with RAF. At university, he learned to fly and later joined the Polish Air Force. After the Germans and then the Russians, Waldemar left Poland. He had wanted to stay, but his parents encouraged him to leave. Both his parents and younger brother were later killed. Waldemar made his way to Romania, where he was arrested but eventually let go. He then travelled to Italy, France, and lastly England, where he became a pilot of the RAF. Waldemar met Harry in October 1940 when he crashed his plane in a field near the base. He was mad that some locals mistook him for being German. However, he later told Harry that he understood how they felt about the Germans.

Mr and Mrs Woods[]

Mr and Mrs Woods ("Mum" and "Dad") were the parents of Harry and Edith. Being a doctor, Mr Woods desired for his son to follow in his footsteps. He and his wife were disappointed by his choice of becoming a pilot, but happy after he said that he desired to be an architect later on. Mrs Woods disliked talking about the war, particularly around or with Harry. Nevertheless, she became head of the local Women's Voluntary Service. Mrs Woods did several things for the war effort, including donating nearly all of the aluminum in her home. In September 1940, they took in Peter, a child of Edith's coworker. As his father was a Fascist, Mr and Mrs Woods both attempted to correct Peter's misguided beliefs.

Minor characters[]

  • Adolf Hitler, the dictator of Germany. Like Winston Churchill, he made a lot of speeches including one that called for England to be bombed.
  • Barnes, a pilot in 11 Group. He carried around a bit of a blanket he had as a baby for luck.
  • Blackie was a horse belonging to the Woods family.
  • Bob Jenkins (born c. 1921)[2] was a soldier in the British Expeditionary Forces. When they were younger, he played cricket with Harry Woods. He was at Dunkirk and came out "unscathed."
  • Prime Minister Chamberlain was the Prime Minister until Churchill took over.
  • Charles Gardner was a BBC reporter whom happened to catch an aircraft battle in action, which he described for the country to hear over the radio.
  • A German pilot (died late October 1940)[3], whose name was unknown. Harry met him after they both landed in the ocean from baling out of their planes. The fishermen whom saved Harry wanted to leave the German behind but he insisted on them picking him up. They all talked about Dunkirk, a skirmish everyone on the boat had happened to be at. The pilot then went silent and Harry realized he was dead and that he had failed to ask his name.
  • Goebbels and Himmler, two high-ranking members of the Nazi Party.
  • Goering, the head of the Luftwaffe whom had been a "crack pilot" during the Great War.
  • Mrs Harris was a friend of Mrs Woods whom recommended the film Pinocchio.
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, the head of Fighter Command. He was called "Stuffy Dowding" due to him being a "bit severe," though he was still well liked.
  • Mr Jenkins was the father of Bob. Mr and Mrs Woods came to his home to say they were glad his son was "safe and sound" after Dunkirk. Mr Jenkins responded by insulting their son and the RAF, leading to an argument.
  • Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park was the commander of 11 Group whom was from New Zealand. He was known for wearing a white helmet while flying.
  • Mr and Mrs Leonard were Lenny's parents. He disapproved of Lenny entering the RAF. They were both upset about him losing a leg.
  • Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister whom took over the position in May 1940. He often made speeches over the radio.

References[]

See also[]


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