‘For Valour’ Bronze At Tangmere

October, 2019

Acclaimed local artist and sculptor, Greg Percival, accompanied by the well-known aviation journalist and film maker Arthur Williams, recently brought his latest piece to the museum for a photo shoot. The sculpture, entitled ‘For Valour’, depicts Flt Lt James Nicolson baling out of his stricken Hurricane over Southampton Water after the combat which resulted in his award of the VC, the only one awarded to a pilot of Fighter Command during WWII.

Nicolson’s flight of four Hurricanes had been attacked by a number of Messerschmitt Bf 110 twin engine fighters. Despite his aircraft being mortally wounded and on fire and ignoring his own significant shrapnel injuries, he stayed with his burning aircraft to attack and destroy one of the Bf 110s before baling out. Greg had spent many hours in the museum researching the Nicolson story.

The museum is fortunate to have in its collection the uniform Nicolson was wearing during the combat and subsequent bale-out; the shrapnel damage to the uniform and James’s left shoe being clearly visible. The exhibit is also supported by a recording of an interview with Nicolson made at the time by the BBC.

Photos: Dudley Hooley and David Burleigh

Talks by Tangmere

The Museum is able to offer speakers to interested groups or societies on a range of subjects connected with the history of operations at RAF Tangmere and other military aviation subjects.

Further details of the full range of presentations and the availability of speakers can be obtained by calling the museum on 01243 790090, by emailing your interest to or by letter marked for the attention of the Director.

Museum Development

The Museum car park has been enlarged and re-laid and audio guides provided with the assistance of LEADER – the European Agricultural Fund for Redevelopment.