Today marks 80 years since the start of the Battle of Britain in July 1940 and for the first time, the RAF is publicly acknowledging the contribution made by school girl, Hazel Hill, to help win the battle.

Hazel’s father, Captain Fred Hill, a Scientific Officer in the Air Ministry, was convinced that the 4 guns installed on Britain’s fighter planes were not enough and that 8 were actually needed if they stood any chance of winning. However, he needed proof that his theory was correct to persuade the powers that be. So he turned to his 13 year old daughter, Hazel, for help, as she was a talented mathematician.

Together they worked night and day on the complex calculations needed to prove the theory, that 8 guns firing at least 1000 rounds per minute was essential to success.

How different our lives may have been if Hazel hadn’t been asked to help or if she had got the calculations wrong! And what an inspiration she is for generations of young people, especially girls, who dream of pursuing a career in the field of Mathematics!

Watch the BBC News Channel tomorrow, Sat 11th July at 1.30pm to find out more about the crucial role Hazel played in the design of the famous Spitfire and Hurricane fighter planes, in the run up to the Battle of Britain.