Between 1942 and 1947, Dobsons & M Browne & Co Ltd, a Nottingham lace curtain manufacturer, made thirty-eight lace panels commemorating the Battle of Britain of 1940.  The lace panels measure 4.5 x 1.62 metres and depict scenes of the bomb-damaged building in London, including the House of Commons, Buckingham Palace, St Clement Danes and Guildhall, aircraft types involved in the battle, floral emblems of the countries of the Commonwealth, and St Pauls Cathedral engulfed in flames.

Thirty-one panels are known to exist of which four are in Australia: The Australian War Museum, Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance (on permanent loan from the Air Force Association Victoria), RAAF Association South Australia, and Air Force Association Western Australia are the custodians.  The Battle of Britain Lace in the Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne is displayed in a climate-controlled glass case and is considered the most popular artefact on display.

This year marks the Battle of Britain’s 80thAnniversary and an appropriate time to visit the Shrine to view the ‘lace’. However, COVID-19 is another battle we must defeat beforehand.

Image credit John Gollings


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