Journalists invaded care homes throughout the UK today, to track down surviving servicemen from the Second World War, to wring their brains for stories about the Battle of Britain that they forgot since they last asked about them, this time last year.
The battle was unusual in that it was fought entirely in mid-air. Infantryman Geoff Bollocks recalled his first day of combat. "It was very dangerous," he said. "And not what I had expected at all. If we dug our trenches too deep, there was nothing but thin air. We lost a lot of men that way."
Bollocks was part of the King's Flying Foot regiment, which saw the highest rate of death of any regiment in the whole of the war. "It was only me who survived," says Bollocks. "Everybody else fell off."
Thankfully, there were other more successful Allied regiments involved in the battle. The Chaffinch St Cock Cavalry earned legendary status with their aerial acrobatics. "Betsy was a star," said surviving stableboy Barry Muck, showing me a black and white photo of a horse. "She hoofed three German bombers out of the sky, and shat on the propellers of countless more."
The Germans launched a formidable attack over a period of months. Each day, they would break through the flying barbed wire that floated above the English Channel and entered British airspace. Few of them would return.
The real hero of the fighting was said to be Winston Churchill himself, who would often join in. Geoff Bollocks remembers seeing him on the front line. "He appeared from nowhere, naked and pink, fresh from his bath. He stunk of whisky, but when he jumped at those Hun planes with his scrotum flapping in the breeze, they didn't know where to look. He won the war for us, single-handed."