Colonel Paul Beaver
Paul Beaver is very much a hands-on historian with a pilot’s log book which includes the Spitfire, Harvard and Mustang.
He regularly flies the family Cessna and coordinates the flying at the Chalke Valley History Festival as an authorised civilian and military flying display director. He is an acknowledged expert on the Spitfire, the Battle of Britain, the Dambuster raid, Naval Aviation and Cold War operations. He is a Vice-President of the Spitfire Society.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Paul launched a series of heritage posters and a Flypast Guidebook which led to him being the historical advisor to Channel 4’s presentation of the Battle of Britain at Goodwood. His latest book, SPITFIRE EVOLUTION was published on 5th March 2016 to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the maiden flight of the Type 300 which became the Spitfire. His latest book is FORGOTTEN FEW, the story of the naval pilots in the Battle of Britain.
Paul spent 15 years directly linked to Jane’s including Naval Editor and Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Jane’s Defence Weekly. He made JDW into a household name in 1990 through his broadcasting during the Liberation of Kuwait and eventually became a freelance war correspondent for Sky News and a studio ‘expert’ for BBC News and CNN International, for whom he jointly presented the 50th Anniversary of D-Day (from Normandy), VE-Day (from Moscow) and the Hong Kong Handover. He is also a Trustee of the Barnes Wallis Foundation and the Army Flying Museum, a former Trustee of the International Bomber Command Centre, as well as member of the Air & Space Power Association, a member of the Royal Air Force Historical Society and the Battle of Britain Historical Society. In June 2014, he delivered a sell-out lecture at the Chalke Valley History Festival, taking the people, places and politics of the Spitfire as his theme, which led to Spitfire People published in June 2015 with a foreword by the late Captain Eric (Winkle) Brown CBE DSC AFC RN. Paul is writing Winkle’s biography for publication by Penguin-Random House in September 2020.
Paul is a Member of No 601 Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force which traces its history back to before the Battle of Britain. Previously, he had been an army aviation reservist, retiring in 2013 with the rank of Colonel. From 2014-16, he was Chairman of No 1010 (City of Salisbury) Squadron of the Air Cadet Organisation and retains a strong interest in education, has advised the Aviation Skills Partnership on armed forces-related STEM. He lectures regularly at the Army Flying Museum and for the Royal Aeronautical Society of which he is a fellow. He is a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.