Ex-Southern Railway Battle of Britain class no. 34052 Lord Dowding passes Abergele, in North Wales at 75mph on a main line railtour on 2nd June 2018. In the background is Gwrych Castle
The loco was named after Air Chief Marshal Hugh Caswall Tremenheere Dowding, 1st Baron Dowding, GCB, GCVO, CMG (24 April 1882 – 15 February 1970). He was Air Officer Commanding RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain and is generally credited with playing a crucial role in Britain's defence, and hence, the defeat of Adolf Hitler's plan to invade Britain. The engine is actually West Country class no 34046 Braunton in disguise, but temporarily carrying the name and number of 34052 to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The West Country class and the Battle of Britain class were identical and numbered over a hundred locomotives built originally for the Southern Railway and latterly British Railways. Originally built with "Air-smoothed" casing, most of the classes were rebuilt in the 1950s into this form.