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Senior Member

3975 Posts
Posted -  04/05/2011  :  21:43
Veterans have joined senior members of the Royal Air Force for a ceremony to lay the foundation stone of a monument to thousands of RAF bomber crew who lost their lives during the Second World War.

The Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, central London, will pay tribute to the 55,573 RAF crew who lost their lives in the conflict and will be completed by May 2012.

Those present at the ceremony included leading donors and supporters such as Robin Gibb, of Bee Gees fame.

Some £5.6 million of a £6 million fundraising target for the memorial was achieved after donations from mobile phone entrepreneur John Caudwell and Lord Ashcroft, the former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party.

The memorial, which will be built from Portland stone, has been designed by awarding-winning architect Liam O'Connor, and will feature a bronze centrepiece of seven aircrew by sculptor Philip Jackson.

Fundraisers also need to raise a further £2 million for maintenance of the memorial.

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Regular Member

634 Posts
Posted - 04/05/2011 : 22:13
This is a useful tool for searching a database of Allied Aircraft Crashes in the Netherlands, written by a volunteer called Jan Niewenhuis.

He is appealing for any photographs or information.

It is possible to purchase wristbands where the profits go towards the appeal and I know of number of outlets at the moment.

Morecambe Militaria & Collectables
Lancashire Street

Dambusters Inn
23 High Street

The Aviation Forum

The Bader Arms

Wattisham Airfield Museum 

Or, if you think you can sell some yourselves, please contact 

bombercommandnl (at) gmail (dot) com  (address edited to avoid spam bots getting the address)

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Barlick Born Old Salt

2021 Posts
Posted - 04/05/2011 : 22:40
A worthwhile cause if ever there was one. I only met two men locally who were a part of what those men achieved, one was my mentor in a local engineering works, he was a flight engineer on Halifax Bombers, the other was my GP who had served in Lancasters. Both were men that I feel proud to have known.

thomo Go to Top of Page
Senior Member

1880 Posts
Posted - 05/05/2011 : 01:22
I have Great Respect for those who fought (willingly or not) in the World Wars . I cannot bear to think about  the fear and the bravery , the terror and the suffering that they felt. .....My Father survived , but was a broken man.....but what good can yet another memorial do ?

...and at such a  cost !

Edited by - Bradders on 05/05/2011 01:22:57 AM

Local Historian & Old Fart

36804 Posts
Posted - 05/05/2011 : 06:06

Bob Jacobsen. 33 missions as a tail gunner with the 100th Bomber Group, USAF. Thankfully he survived to a good age. When I was teaching at Carleton College I used to ask the students what they thought about the funny guy who kept the drapery store on Division. They all thought he was a figure of fun, then I pointed out to them that at their age, Bob was doing what was probably one of the highest risk jobs in the world. Tail End Charlie!  It would be nice if we remembered the young American lads as well as our own.

He gave me a book written by a man who was ground crew, keeping the bombers in the air. It wasn't until I read it that I realised that it wasn't only the air crew that suffered. A surprising number of the ground crew were so badly affected that it ruined their lives. They were as much casualiries as the flyers.

Stanley Challenger Graham

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Senior Member

2301 Posts
Posted - 05/05/2011 : 09:55
I have no problem with a new monument to the bomber crews but why is it being established in London when we have a more suitable and more central location at The National Memorial Arboretum? Surely this is what the site was established for.

Aircrew came from the lenghth and breadth of the Commonwealth during the hostilities and were not exclusive to London so why not put it in a more central location in the country?

Edited by - panbiker on 05/05/2011 10:41:42

Ian Go to Top of Page
Barlick Born Old Salt

2021 Posts
Posted - 05/05/2011 : 11:13
I agree Ian, but its the same with many things, despite Herr Hitlers best efforts London has become too big and is full of its own self importance.

thomo Go to Top of Page
Senior Member

3975 Posts
Posted - 05/05/2011 : 12:36
wow 3 posts today that I agree 100% with!!!!

Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Senior Member

2301 Posts
Posted - 05/05/2011 : 16:22
Steady on Frank, you will be getting a reputation!

The thing that struck me when I visited the NMA site is the thought that has been put into the design and layout of the place. The memorial for the now pardoned young men who were Shot at Dawn in the First World War is situated at the most eastern aspect of the arboretum so it is the first place on the site to see dawn each day, very touching and relevant to what the monument represents. The Basra Memorial Wall has recently been re-sited from it's original location in Iraq by soldiers of the Armoured Engineer Section who originally built the wall to commemorate their comrades.

Ther are dozens of worthy sites within the confines of the arboretum, I particularly like the 49th West Riding Infantry Division (Dukes) Polar Bear which stands sentinal near to the entrance. The site is growing all the time and I would encourage anyone to visit if they are in the area. This link to the alphabetical list of memorials shows how diverse the site is, all are perfectly maintained as is right and proper. It would be a more than fitting place for the bomber crews to be remembered.

Ian Go to Top of Page
Senior Member

3975 Posts
Posted - 05/05/2011 : 17:06
We will visit  this year when we are down in Stafford. This is the first year that we will remember the 14 Royal Marines of 40 Commando killed in service, during Herrick 12.

Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page

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