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Bomber Command Memorial

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Bomber Command Memorial

Old 3rd Nov 2009, 12:19
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Bomber Command Memorial

Bomber Command memorial design unveiled

This is the magnificent proposed design for a memorial to the forgotten heroes of Bomber Command, to be built in central London with funds donated largely by readers of The Daily Telegraph.




The Bomber Command Association hopes the memorial to the 55,573 airmen who died in the Second World War will be in place by 2011, with work beginning next year if sufficient funds can be raised by then.

Since The Daily Telegraph launched the Forgotten Heroes appeal a year ago, more than £1.5million has been raised following an overwhelming response from readers, but the appeal needs to raise another £1m before the project can go ahead. Details of how you can donate to the appeal appear at the end of this article.

It is intended that the memorial will be built from Portland stone, and have as its centrepiece a bronze sculpture of a heavy bomber’s seven crew members looking up at the sky through an opening in the roof. The proposed site for the memorial is in Piccadilly, near Hyde Park Corner and on the edge of Green Park, subject to approval by the Royal Parks and Westminster Council.

Squadron Leader Tony Iveson, vice president of the Bomber Command Association and a former Lancaster pilot in 617 Squadron, better known as The Dambusters, said: “We feel this is a design which will be a fitting tribute, one which will endure, and one which is worthy of its place in the heart of London. We are at a stage now where we can realistically hope to see the memorial completed in 2011, when there will still be plenty of veterans alive to see it. So far the appeal has generated an incredible response, for which we are hugely grateful. We received nearly 90,000 letters of support after The Daily Telegraph first publicised the campaign last year, and we really feel that we touched the heart of the nation. Now we just need one more big fundraising push to get us over the line.”

Despite Bomber Command suffering the highest casualty rate of any unit during the Second World War, with fatalities of almost 50 per cent of all those who flew on operations, the nation’s capital still has no memorial to them. Veterans believe they have been victims of political correctness, after some historians questioned the tactic of area bombing. But no-one has ever questioned the courage of the young men from all over the Commonwealth who volunteered to serve in Bomber Command, with an average age of 22, flying over occupied territory night after night to grind down the Nazi war machine, and playing a decisive role in the final Allied victory.

The memorial has been designed by Liam O’Connor, who also built the Armed Forces Memorial in Staffordshire and the Commonwealth Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill near Buckingham Palace. He said: “This will be a unique memorial which will also be compatible with the historic fabric of this part of Westminster.”

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, Chief of the Air Staff, said: “The MoD and RAF are fully supportive of this campaign for a long overdue memorial to the brave men who served in Bomber Command. They deserve no less than a visible and fitting memorial in the capital."

To donate to the appeal, send a cheque, payable to Bomber Command Memorial Fund, to Bomber Command Association, c/o RAF Museum, Grahame Park Way, Hendon, London NW9 5LL or go to RAF Bomber Command memorial appeal - Telegraph.
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Old 13th May 2010, 20:27
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Westminster City Council have granted planning permission.

BBC News - WWII Bomber Command heroes to get London monument

Last edited by Easy Street; 13th May 2010 at 20:42.
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Old 13th May 2010, 21:08
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Good to see the Campaign moving again. Regarding the campaign:
.....after The Daily Telegraph first publicised the campaign last year,
is rather buried in the article, so perhaps we should remember that the campaign started here
THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION
and as the piece further down mentions was very much the personal dream of Robin Gibb (of Bee-Gees fame). That the BCA is fully behind the campaign and it is being promoted by the Daily Telegraph is tremendous, but credit where it is due for getting this very onerous ball rolling lies with one man in my opinion. Well done, Sir! To the rest of us one might say, "and about bloody time!".
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Old 14th May 2010, 07:13
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As already said - 'Not before time' . It is a sad reflection on
todays society that the efforts and valour of those lost aircrews of Bomber Command continue to be a subject of controversy in certain
quarters.

Its a further sad comment that the authorities will need to ensure
that the bronze portion of the proposed memorial will be protected
from falling into the hands of scrap metal criminals or collectors.
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Old 14th May 2010, 07:13
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I was very pleased to hear just a moment ago on Radio 4 that the planning permision for the memorial had been granted.
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Old 14th May 2010, 09:06
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Just been listening to MRAF Sir Michael Beetham on the Today prog talking about the memorial. Stated in firm and unequivocal terms he had no regrets about the Bomber Command offensive. Good to hear!
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Old 14th May 2010, 09:27
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Extremely good news! As ex-aircrew WW2 I have been looking for this to happen for many months, despite objections from some organisations and locals. Full speed ahead.
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Old 14th May 2010, 09:39
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Does anyone know what the objections were based upon?
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:21
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Green Park. Isn't that opposite the RAF Club? [From someone uncertain of his bearings!]
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:26
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Quite close, Samuel.

Will it have all the names listed (like the US Vietnam memorial)? I hope so.

Interestingly, the total number of names would also be quite close to the number of US dead in Vietnam.
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:33
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Quite close, Samuel.
As you suspected - directly opposite, on the other side of Piccadilly!
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Old 14th May 2010, 12:42
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Will it have all the names listed (like the US Vietnam memorial)? I hope so.
I wondered the same thing don't think it will

The memorial will contain inscriptions, carvings, and a dedication.

There will also be inscriptions from Winston Churchill, who said in a speech to Parliament in 1940: "The gratitude of every home in our island ... and indeed throughout the world except in the abodes of the guilty goes out to the British airmen who undaunted by odds, un-weakened by their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of world war by their prowess and their devotion."
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Old 14th May 2010, 12:53
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Thumbs up At long last!

Great news, albeit a bit overdue. This, and the new beacon at Hendon for the Battle of Britain section... strange how these just seem to happen the week we change government.....

Now, how about awarding a long overdue campaign medal for all the blokes who flew in Bomber Command?
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Old 14th May 2010, 13:20
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Now, how about awarding a long overdue campaign medal for all the blokes who flew in Bomber Command?
Yes and not before too long!!!!
Time for people in this country to remember what these young men gave.
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Old 14th May 2010, 14:05
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Bomber Command Campaign Medal

Covered inter-alia here:
http://www.pprune.org/military-aircr...ign-medal.html
and here:
http://www.pprune.org/aviation-histo...al-merged.html
All for it personally but many who posted were con (cue Jacko?).
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Old 14th May 2010, 15:44
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Bomber Command Campaign Medal

I have recently read the splendid book "Lancaster: the Second World War's Greatest Bomber", by Leo McKinstry. In it, he points out that Sir Arthur Harris's greatest grievance with the refusal to award the members of Bomber Command their own campaign medal was not mainly about the aircrew, who could qualify for the Aircrew Europe Star....but for the ground crew, whose dedication to the preparation of the aeroplanes was rewarded only with the Defence Medal. "Few people appreciate the terrible miseries and discomforts and the tremendous hours of work under which the ground personnel of Bomber Command on the airfields have laboured for nearly six years and through six winters, two of which have been notoriously bitter" he told Sir Archibald Sinclair on 1st July 1945. As to the award of the Defence Medal, he said that the idea of a "defence" medal was a contravention of the very purpose of Bomber Command.... "The only task which we have not been asked to perform, other than negatively, is that of "defence.""

Unable to acheive his desire to obtain a campaign medal for his men, he refused all honours and awards offered to him, other than the Defence Medal for which all his ground based personnel qualified. It's another example of political decisions being made on other grounds.
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Old 14th May 2010, 15:59
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the British airmen who undaunted by odds, un-weakened by their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of world war by their prowess and their devotion
While this may also be appropriate for the men of Bomber Command, it's not as if Churchill was referring to them when he said this - one hopes that another quotation, equally moving, but said in direct reference to Bomber Command, can be found.
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Old 14th May 2010, 16:02
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Giant 380ft beacon planned to commemorate Battle of Britain - Telegraph

Do we as a nation have £80m to spare at the moment? If so, perhaps that money would be better spent on the various service charities. IMO the BBMF is enough of a memorial.

PS How long it is appropriate to keep commemorating? As long as the combatants are still alive?
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Old 14th May 2010, 16:17
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OK, round all the buoys again, I guess. Although Bomber Command played an important though oft ignored part in the Battle of Britain, this thread is about the former and not the latter. Given that the BofB is commemorated by the Fighter Command Memorials on the Embankment and at Capel-le-Fern, I would suggest they are an elegant sufficiency. In contrast Bomber Command has a stone embedded inside Lincoln Cathedral! However, as to how long we should go on commemorating both formations and their sacrifice, I would suggest forever might be a good target to aim for. Certainly way beyond:
As long as the combatants are still alive?
London rightly has memorials to commemorate Trafalgar and Waterloo that ensured our freedom from tyranny some 200 years ago. If their significance is lost on those who pass them on a daily basis that is a comment on attitudes today rather than sacrifice then. One can only lead horses to water. These memorials are that water. If those who view them do not take in the implicit message they, or the subject memorial of this thread, contain then we should look to what if anything is being taught in our schools.
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Old 14th May 2010, 16:20
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Looking around some of the Aviation Websites, I get the impression that whilst the Bomber Command memorial is almost totally supported , most disapprove of the expensive Hendon "helter-skelter fun fair" approach.

Last edited by RETDPI; 14th May 2010 at 16:42.
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