To mark the 70th anniversary of The Battle Of Britain, the RAF Benevolent Fund have been running an excellent digital account of the events of 1940 with an online contemporary newspaper, ‘The Chronicle’, and through the eyes of five fictional characters: a young RAF pilot flying Hurricanes, a WAAF officer using the new radar technology, an aircraft mechanic patching up fighter planes, a nurse at the pioneering burns unit at East Grinstead Hospital and a journalist who is trying to finish his novel as well as being Chief War Correspondent for The Chronicle. Using a website, Facebook and Twitter accounts the characters post updates in real time about the events unfolding around them.
With a steady stream of tweets and blog posts over the summer you become involved in their everyday lives. The aerial dog fights, the pounding from the Luftwaffe, nights out at the local pub, romance, thoughts of imminent invasion, operations at the hospital, even nurses caught up to no good in the laundry cupboard. It gives a feel of what it would have been like if social media was around in WWII. They sound just like any other ordinary people you’d meet online.
The following little exchange of tweets was quite heart wrenching:
It has been a very well run online campaign and I’m sure other organisations will pick up on the idea. The amount of time and effort put into it should not be underestimated though and whether others will be able to do it as well remains to be seen.