The Memorial -

History

The idea for a National Memorial to The Few came from one of their number. Wing Commander Geoffrey Page had been a 20-year-old Hurricane pilot with 56 Squadron in the Battle.

On 12 August 1940 Pilot Officer Page was shot down and baled out into the sea with terrible burns. He went on to become a founding member of the Guinea Pig Club for RAF personnel treated at the Queen Victoria Hospital by the team of plastic surgeons led by Archie McIndoe.

Determination and courage ensured that Geoffrey returned to operational flying, becoming a wing leader. He was awarded the DFC and bar and at the time he received the DSO in 1944 he was credited with having destroyed 15 enemy aircraft. A crash late in the war seriously injured him again and he returned to East Grinstead.

Years later, Geoffrey realised to his astonishment that there was no memorial to his comrades who had flown with him in Fighter Command in 1940.

His determination that The Few should be remembered found a focus at “Hellfire Corner”, the area of Dover and Folkestone over which so much of the fighting had taken place in 1940. The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust was established and fund raising began.

On July 9 1993, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother opened the National Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne to see Geoffrey’s dream realised. He died in August 2000, shortly after attending the Memorial Day marking the 60th anniversary of the Battle.