Royal Mint creates 50p Battle of Britain coin

The Royal Mint has created a 50p coin commemorating 75 years since the Battle of Britain, which will be going into UK circulation over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, 15th September 2015, 11:00 am
The Royal Mints Battle of Britain 50p with a Mark I Spitfire, marking 75 years since the event.

Today (September 15) the nation will commemorate Battle of Britain Day, marking 75 years since the conflict took place.

The Royal Mint has a long tradition of producing coins and medals that honour those who serve in the armed forces or have contributed to the nation’s history.

Medals that acknowledge the bravery of those who served in both world wars include the 1939-45 Star with Battle of Britain clasp produced by The Royal Mint, which was awarded to every allied airman involved in the campaign.

The south coast will today play a vital role in leading Battle of Britain commemorations.

Dozens of Spitfires and Hurricanes will take off from Goodwood for a special display - watched by not only by thousands of spectators across the coast - but by veterans at the aerodrome, joined by Prince Harry.

For details on where you can see the flypast, click here

The vintage planes will take to the skies and gather over Selsey bill before ‘breaking wing’ and soaring over towns hit by the German bombers during the Second World War.

For live updates on the flypast see the Boultbee Twitter page

There are only around 70 Spitfires and Hurricanes still airworthy remaining in the world and most will be taking part in the display - in what is expected to be the largest flypast since the end of the war.

Coins in times of war

During the First World War, the government called for the public to give up their Sovereign coins in aid of Britain’s ‘war effort’ – the gold coins had until then been day to day currency.

Royal Mint Sovereigns and other coins were also given to servicemen in the First and Second World Wars to help them buy their way out of trouble in enemy territory.

Battle of Britain veteran, Flying Officer Ken Wilkinson, 97, from Birmingham, was a Spitfire pilot during the four-month campaign, and recalls being given coins in the currency of the country to which he and his colleagues were flying their mission.

“We were briefed before we went off, and the intelligence officer would give us coins for emergencies – we knew if we got shot down, we were to keep our heads down for 48 hours, and use the money to give to farmers in exchange for food, and to members of the resistance to pay for helping us out and getting us back home.

“I was lucky – I didn’t get shot down, but many of my colleagues did.”

The public can soon expect to see the Royal Mint’s Battle of Britain 50p coin in their change.

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