No one can deny the tremendous sacrifice made by RAF Bomber Command in
of this country and indeed Europe during WW ll. In 2007, The Heritage Foundation Chairman, David Graham discovered that to date, no permanent memorial currently exists to commemorate the 55,000 air crew who lost their lives fighting for this cause nor to remember those injured and imprisoned in the ensuing atrocities. Contacting Bomber Command, The Heritage Foundation immediately initiated plans to rectify what it considers to be an unacceptable oversight. Working closely with the Bomber Command Association, Ministry of Defence, Heritage Foundation President Robin Gibb CBE, Vice President Mike Read, Jim Dooley, Tony Edwards and with the early and enthusiastic support of Alec Lom and The Daily Telegraph Media Group to whom we are most grateful, over half the funds required to complete the task have now been raised. Vice President of Bomber Command, formerly Chairman, Squadron Leader Tony Iverson DFC and Secretary Douglas Radcliffe MBE are regular attendees at The Heritage Foundation fundraising events while other committee members work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure continued progress is made and the goal achieved as soon as possible. Architect and Planning Consultant Liam O’Connor has been appointed to the project and it is hoped that the completed memorial will be unveiled in Central London by mid 2011.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to The Bomber Command Memorial Appeal Fund may do so by sending a cheque made payable to The Bomber Command Memorial Appeal Fund direct to Douglas Radcliffe MBE, Secretary of The Bomber Command Association, RAF Museum, Grahame Park way, Hendon, London, NW9 5LL
Command Association Memorial Committee Members
From Bomber Command
President – Marshal of the Royal Airforce, Sir Michael Beetham GCB CBE DFC AFC
Vice President - Squadron Leader Tony Iverson DFC
Chairman of Bomber Command – Air Commodore Charles Clarke OBE
President – Robin Gibb CBE
Chairman – David Graham
Bomber Command Association
Members of the MOD
Campaign supported by The Telegraph Media Group
See Latest News for updates
The RAF Bomber
threat of Nazi Germany, thousands joined RAF Bomber Command to help save Europe.
Men at the average age of 22, many of them teenagers, volunteered themselves
knowing full well the risks that entailed. For today’s generation it may be
inconceivable to imagine what life was like for these young heroes. However, it
is even more unthinkable that the only memorial to these soldiers is the
airfields in which they died.
thanks to the Heritage Foundation and other contributors, the men who gave their
lives will be honoured with a more illustrious memorial. It’s been a long hard
road for Chairman of the Foundation, David Graham, who initiated the campaign
back in March 2008, but he and Robin Gibb CBE (President) can at long last
celebrate success as the first stone of the memorial was recently laid.
This is a
momentous occasion not just for The Heritage Foundation, but also for the
veterans of Bomber Command, and the families of the brave men who fought for
One of the
directors and dedicated supporters of the foundation, Dennis Gimes was there
with David Graham in Green Park, London to witness the placement of the first
stone. The Duke of Gloucester led the ceremony with the presence of veterans and
many prominent guests, including the Marshal of the Royal Air Force and
President of The Bomber Command Association, Sir Michael Beetham. Representative
of the RAF Benevolent Fund, Lord Craig was also present, as well as entrepreneur
and philanthropist John Caudwell and Lord Ashcroft who have both made major
donations to the memorial.
Unfortunately, key supporter and donor Richard Desmond was unable to attend.
The service to
consecrate the stone was conducted by the Air Vice-Marshal Ray Pentland,
Chaplain-in-Chief of the RAF and included a reading by Chief of the Air Staff,
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton.
at the ceremony were the Right Honourable Andrew Robathan Minister for Defence
Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Councillor Alan Bradley Lord Mayor Locum
Tennens, the architect Liam O’Connor and sculptor Philip Jackson.
It was an
emotional moment as the service was ended by a magnificent flypast by The Battle
of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster Bomber Aircraft, which jerked many a tear.
reception following the ceremony, President of The Bomber Command Association,
Sir Michael Beetham thanked the donors, and others for their support, whilst
President of The Heritage Foundation, Robin Gibb CBE paid tribute to those that
defended our freedom. He emphasised the example that the memorial sets to the
young generation of today.
‘We have young
men out in the world defending our freedom and we must show the world that we
recognise them and respect them.’ He said.
is due to be completed by 2012 ahead of The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. It
will feature a centrepiece of a nine foot bronze sculpture by Philip Jackson.
the memorial campaign and The Heritage Foundation Chairman, David Graham is
delighted that the 55,573 volunteers for Bomber Command, who gave their lives,
have finally been remembered and honoured by this country.
“In the end,
we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
THEY GAVE EVERYTHING
ROBIN GIBB BRINGS THE BOMBER COMMAND MEMORIAL MESSAGE TO AMERICA
To coincide with Robin’s recent visits to the States, the Bomber Command
Memorial campaign is reaching out to North Americans to help support the
fund. A commemorative and fundraising website has just been launched and
thanks to Robin’s tireless efforts the memorial’s completion is getting
nearer. Having raised £1.7 million already, the campaign is on its way to
raising the £3 million pounds needed to turn the plans for a sculpture
near Buckingham Palace into a reality.
It was a childhood dream of Robin’s to one day create a memorial fit for
the air crews of Bomber Command to be remembered. Not to glorify the
horrors of war, but to remember, in order that no generation should ever
have to endure again what took place in World War II. And, to act as an
inspiration to all age groups. In recent weeks, Robin has taken the cause
to the U.S. to raise further awareness for the commemoration and the much-
needed funds to create the memorial, and the new website They Gave
Everything reminds us that airmen from the US as well as from many other
nations flew as part of the R.A.F Bomber Command. Robin explains: “The
Memorial will finally honour the bravery of those who died defending
Britain and ultimately the rest of the world from Nazi tyranny. On my
visits to the U.S. people there were surprised that a commemoration had
never been approved; a memorial that families of the fallen could
recognise as a fitting tribute, and that the rest of the nation and those
from across the globe could visit, and remember the sacrifice others made
for our freedom to exist today. Although we have faced many, many
obstacles, I am glad that I have been able to play a part in helping
convince those in power and with influence to view the Bomber Command
Memorial as important and fitting after all these years.” Robin continues:
“We are on our way to reaching our final goal of raising just over £3
million and I hope that the new website will encourage even more generous
donations than have taken place so far, both from the U.K. and across the
world.” Bomber Command’s vital task of defending freedom fell to 125,000
volunteers with an average age of 22, from all corners of the Commonwealth
and allied countries. They were crucial in turning the tide but victory
came at a price. Of the thousands who took to the skies, more than 55,000
gave their lives. One in five of those who died were from the US or
Canada. Half of these brave airmen, have no known grave. As Bomber
Command, many nations fought together to free Europe and ultimately the
world from the Nazi threat. In doing so they endured losses greater than
those of any other service, and yet, they are currently the only WWII
servicemen to have not been publicly honoured in Britain. The planned
Memorial will change this forever.
Please help build the memorial by donating now! For
further info about the campaign and to learn how you can make a donation,
or go to
COMMAND MEMORIAL UPDATE
As you will
see from the letter below from Air Commodore Malcolm White OBE, Chairman of
Bomber Command Association, work on the Memorial in Green Park is due to start
in the very near future. This is tremendous news not only for all of us at The
Heritage Foundation but for the Veterans of Bomber Command and the families of
those brave and dedicated men who sacrificed their lives on behalf of their
We are very
proud that we kick started this Campaign back in March 2008 and both Robin and I
would like to thank all of you who have supported this project since then.
David Graham - Chairman
& Robin Gibb CBE - President
Bomber Command Association
Command Memorial – Good News
In my message
in the Association’s Autumn Newsletter, I promised to keep you informed on
progress with the Memorial. Save for the occasional and often incorrect article
in the media, you will have begun to wonder “what the hell is going on”. The
short answer is - a lot of very delicate and often difficult work by a small
and dedicated team which is determined to see the Memorial built before the
start of The Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations (and 2012 Olympics). You will have to
take my word for it but the discussions have been both complex and time
I am delighted
to say that at our meeting on 24th February, the Bomber Command
Memorial Board was able to agree to proceed to contract for the construction of
the Memorial. This is a momentous step forward and one which has been made
possible through the drive of our President; the support of The Heritage
Foundation, the sustained work of “our duo” at the RAF Museum, the
professionalism of the architect and sculptor and importantly, the sheer energy
of the fundraising team and our many supporters.
and appointed contractor have done an excellent job to refine the design and
costs and we are now able to re-engage in discussions with Westminster City
Council and the Royal Parks on the final detail. The necessary pre-contract
discussions will probably take a further month and once complete we will be able
to announce the precise date for the Unveiling and Dedication Ceremony which we
intend to be in May 2012.
Many of you
have asked when the Memorial will be unveiled andI know that some of you living
overseas will want to book flights in order to be here on the day. Let me say
this, during the 12 months that it will take to build the Memorial, we will have
ample time to nail down the detailed plans and provide you with everything you
need to know in order to join with friends, family and former colleagues for
what will be a very special occasion. Before then, our President will attend a
short and discrete “Turf Cutting” Ceremony, probably in May 2011. This will
define the start of building works and I will report on this in our Spring
I am delighted
to add that in February, the Chief of the Air Staff was able to view the third
of the seven “larger-than-life figures” of the Second World War Airman which
will form the centrepiece of the Memorial. Each figure more than 3m tall and
sculpted in clay by our sculptor Philip Jackson will be cast in bronze. Philip’s
previous works include the Memorials to HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on
The Mall, and Sir Bobby Moore at Wembley Stadium. Philip’s brief was that the
sculpture should be neither jingoistic nor triumphalist but reflective and hence
it depicts a crew just back from their mission. The developing statue is
magnificent and should be completed later this year and well ahead of the
Liam O’Connor, best known for the design and construction of the Commonwealth
Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill, London, has created a design which will
gradually unfold from the current park railings, to engraved screens (including
the RAF and Bomber Command Crests) and carved Portland Stone walls enclosing the
bronze sculpture. It will also feature a glass roof including sections of melted
down aluminium from a Halifax Bomber (Halifax LW682 from Number 426 Squadron),
shot down over Belgium on the night of 12th May 1944 in which eight
crew were killed.
Board believes that once complete, the Bomber Command Memorial will provide a
fitting and lasting memory for generations to come. It will insure that we never
forget the debt we owe to the commitment, service and sacrifice of those airmen
of Bomber Command who lost their lives in pursuit of peace and freedom in
of this would have been possible without your magnificent support and the
generous response from key benefactors and donors from across the UK and around
the world. I promise to keep you updated as we make progress and progress we
will but in the meantime, thank you for your patience and loyal support.
Designs by Architect Liam O’Connor for the Bomber Command Memorial have recently been released for planning application. The memorial will hopefully be erected in Central London in mid 2011.
To view the latest television interview by Robin Gibb CBE on the appeal, please
The Heritage Foundation is pleased to announce that
Robin Gibb CBE has generously agreed to be Annual President for 2011. The role of Vice President will be taken by
If you wish to make a donation via our charitable trust to this
worthwhile cause you may do so on our credit card hotline
and state the donation to be for The Bomber Command Memorial Appeal.
You may also send a cheque direct to Douglas Radcliffe
MBE, Secretary of The Bomber Command Association, RAF Museum,
Way, Hendon, London. NW9 5LL
Cheque should be made payable to The Bomber Command Memorial Appeal Fund.