Against Adversity is the inspirational story of Battle of Britain & North Africa Hurricane pilot Archie McInnes. Archie tragically passed away on the evening of his 100th Birthday on the 31st July 2019, leaving at the time just four known surviving aircrew still with us from the Battle of Britain in 1940.
Having been privileged to get to know ever-modest Archie, and overwhelmingly inspired by his amazing life story, I eventually persuaded him to let me write it in a book before it was lost to time. It wasn’t just a crucial, final account from a unique generation of heroes, but it was simply a remarkable story of an extraordinary individual. The book also enabled the opportunity to recognise & remember many of Archie’s 238 Squadron comrades with very little else published elsewhere previously.
Determined to get it published before Archie’s 100th birthday, it was an intense project which thankfully concluded in less than 6 months thanks to the generous time and help from good friend Mark Postlethwaite GAvA. It resulted in a truly memorable launch event on the 1st June 2019 at the historic Bentley Priory Musuem – the home of RAF Fighter Command during 1940. It was a very emotive visit as is also the last time one of the ‘Few’ will visit the grounds of Bentley Priory.
The book tells the incredible story of both Archie’s life and his RAF career. It includes over 90 images throughout – many of which have never been seen before from Archie’s own personal albums. The Foreword was written by Squadron Leader Ian ‘Smithy’ Smith MBE for which I am hugely grateful. ‘Smithy’ not only flew Archie on his return to the skies in a Spitfire in 2018, but also helped arrange some very special occassions for Archie at RAF Coningsby alongside the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in his final months.
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