The Battle of Britain: Flight Sergeant's Children

Figure 1.--Here we scee the RAF Flight seargeant giving his to sons model Spitfires he has made. The children are in the churchall as their home has been bombed out. Click on the image to see the boys playing with the planes.

In another scene after the Blitz on London has begun, a British Flight Sergeant (Ian McShane) gets a short leave. Hereturns to his London home to see his wife and two sons. He is a fighter pilot. (The British had enlisted men flying plains.) When he arrives at the street where they live, he is stopped by an air-raid warden and told that if he's looking for someone, then they will be in the church hall, which is where he finds his family. He tells his wife that she and the boys should not have returned from the country and that they will go back there as soon as possible. His older son reminds them that he as promissed them a yoy Spitfire. He produces it. The older boy is estatic. The younger boy is concerned that his father has forgotten him. Here the expressions on the boys' face are a brilliant pirce of acting. The Flight seargeant produces a second plane for his younger son who breaks out in a huge grin. The scene is the most poignant in the film. A reader writes, "It was a really tuching scene as the boys full of life rush over to their dad. The younger boy face lights up as he is given the Spitfire. All very tragic later when they are killed in the bombing." The elder boy wears a grey long sleeve V-necked pullover, dark shirt and light brrown, almost yellow shorts which are lined. His younger brother wears a dark green turtle-neck sweater, grey shorts and beige ankle socks. Both boys wear black shoes. Later McShane volunteers to go and look for a family trapped in a nearby street. Their father leaves the boys playing with the toys. On his way back from the rescue he is accompanied by a small boy who us wearing pyjamas and a dressing gown. Just as they are approaching the church hall, Both are dusty. There is the sound of an explosion and the picture cuts to show the chuch hall in flames. He is shocked to find the church hall in ruins and he knows his family are dead. I did not remember this scene from the first time I saw it. After viewing the scene again, I was deeply impressed by the perfornance of the boys. It is an extrodinarily poweful scene.


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Created: 10:29 PM 9/27/2004
Last updated: 12:33 AM 9/28/2004