Pilot’s Battle of Britain journey

Andrew McMaster
Andrew McMaster

A helicopter pilot from Bicester will be cycling from Paris to London on a folding Brompton Bike in September.

Flt Lt Andrew McMaster is one of more than 50 cyclists who have signed up to take part in the Battle of Britain Paris to London Brompton Bike Ride next month.

After a recent survey revealed that 40 per cent of people do not know what the Battle of Britain was, Andrew is also writing a series of blogs about some of the young Spitfire and Hurricane pilots who took on the Luftwaffe in the skies above Britain in 1940.

Based at RAF Benson, Andrew has completed multiple tours of Afghanistan, Kenya and Northern Ireland.

He said: “I just wanted to add some motivation for myself, finding a particular person or event that puts the villages and fields I was riding through into context. It gives me something to focus on when the riding gets tough.

“I have found more of a connection than I thought I would.

“As soon as I started to pull on the thread of the characters, I discovered many fascinating similarities and links with my own career, like they trained in the same place or they were attached to the same squadron or base.

“There is a unique humour, confidence and personality type that it takes to be a military aviator.

“That is as true today as it was in 1940.”

Almost 3,000 aircrew fought in the Battle of Britain from more than 70 squadrons.

The cost of the battle was high – 544 lost their lives and a further 814 died before the end of the war.

To support Andrew, visit www.justgiving.com/Andrew-McMaster/

follow his Battle of Britain blogs at @maddadskillz

To sign up for the Battle of Britain Paris to London Brompton Bike Ride see www.rafbf.org