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Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial

Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial

Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial

From Paul Robinson:

I hope you don’t mind me letting you know about the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial project. It’s the brainchild of the Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Mr Tony Worth. Tony has strong family connections with the RAF: his grandfather was ACM Sir Arthur Longmore, an uncle (Wg Cdr Richard Longmore) was killed in action and his father flew Halifaxes. He feels that a central memorial, to honour the effort and sacrifice made by the County’s Bomber Command personnel during WW2, is long overdue: 25,611 of the 55,000 fallen Bomber Command aircrew were lost from Bomber County’s airfields. Having held off until the Green Park Memorial was complete, detailed planning has now begun. We have secured a stunning site high on the ridge between RAF Waddington and Canwick. It overlooks the City of Lincoln and the Cathedral, and is visible from across the City and the surrounding countryside.

The site will become the hub of the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Trail, and have strong connections with the Bomber Command Association, the RAF Museum etc. The Appeal will formally be launched at the East Kirkby Aviation Heritage Centre on 30/31 May this year, under the wing of its Lancaster ‘Just Jane’: we hope to open on the 70th anniversary of the end of the War in Europe (May 2015). Lord Trenchard is the Appeal’s Patron, and the Trustees include Lord Taylor of Holbeach and ACM Sir Stuart Peach (Commander, Joint Forces Command and soon-to-be Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. We have a small Working Group, which I chair, and enthusiastic support from the University of Lincoln, the County and District Councils, and Lincolnshire’s RAF stations.

The aims of the Memorial are:

    To honour the 25,611 Bomber Command aircrew who were lost flying from Lincolnshire airfields, and those Bomber Command aircrew from Lincolnshire who flew from bases outside the County.
    To recognise the effort and sacrifice made by all who served on Lincolnshire’s wartime Bomber Command bases.
    To educate and inform younger generations of the bravery displayed and suffering endured by all sides between 1939 and 1945.

We plan to build an Interpretation/Visitor Centre alongside the Memorial, to provide the ‘educate and inform’ function. The German perspective will be important, especially eye-witness accounts of the horrors of aerial bombardment, and the Lord-Lieutenant and I recently visited Berlin to start this process. A architectural design competition, funded by the Arts Council for England, is under way; and will be followed next month by a public consultation across the County and on the web site.

The site is www.lincsbombercommandmemorial.com, where there is further information, an on-line shop and details of how the project can be supported. Overall, we need to raise in the order of £3M. Fund-raising will begin in earnest after the official launch in May, although we need modest funding to meet expenses until then. More importantly, it’s vital for us to win public awareness and support, so please visit the web site, and spread the word to all your friends and contacts, perhaps by forwarding this email. Oh, all right; a donation would be good, too.

Do let me know if I can give you any more information, or if you’d like to get involved.

Yours, Paul

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