Patron HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO
Air Chief Marshal
Sir Michael Graydon GCB CBE
President Battle Of Britain Memorial Trust
Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon was commissioned into the Royal Air Force, following a 3 year cadetship at the RAF College Cranwell in 1959. He was specially selected for training as a flying instructor and after completing the course at the Central Flying School joined No 1 Flying Training School. He then converted on to Lightning fighters with No 56 Squadron at RAF Wattisham. He served as an instructor on 226 Operational Conversion Unit. On promotion to squadron leader he was posted as a flight commander with No 56 at RAF Akrotiri, in Cyprus. He attended the RAF Staff College at Bracknell and in 1970 was appointed as personal staff officer to the Deputy Commander in Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe in Belgium. He joined Operations Staff in the Ministry of Defence in 1973 and on promotion to wing commander completed the National Defence College Course Latimer in 1976.
He then commanded No 11 Squadron flying Lightnings at RAF Binbrook in 1977 and on promotion to group captain became Military Assistant to the Chief of the Defence Staff 1979. He commanded Royal Air Force Leuchars in Fife from 1981 to 1983 followed by command of Royal Air Force Stanley, in the Falkland Islands following the Conflict. After graduating from the Royal College of Defence Studies in London in 1984 he held a number of senior appointments; Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ No1 Group, Bentley Priory as an Air Commodore, ACOS Policy SHAPE Belgium as an Air Vice Marshal, AOC-in-C RAF Support Command as an Air Marshal. On promotion to Air Chief Marshal in 1991 he was appointed Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Strike Command and C-in-C UK Air Forces. In 1992 he was appointed Chief of Air Staff a post he held until 1997 when he retired from the Royal Air Force.
He has held various senior appointments in the aerospace industry, currently being a non executive director with Thales UK plc and Chairman of Symbiotics. He is Chairman of the Air Squadron and of Sutton’s Hospital in Charterhouse, Senior President of the Officers’ Association and the Vice Patron of the Air Cadet Organisation. He is Vice- Chairman of the governors of Wycliffe College, deputy Chairman of the United Church Schools Trust, a member of the committee of management of the RNLI, a Freeman of the City of London, a Liveryman of the Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators and President of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.
He is married to Elizabeth who is an artist and author of a wonderful book about heir dog Blackie, “Air Dog to Top Dog”. His interests are golf and photography.
Richard H. Hunting
Richard Hunting became a Trustee in 1998 at the suggestion of the Founder, Wing Commander Geoffrey Page, and of the then Chairman, Clive Hunting. Clive, Richard’s older cousin, was a friend and business colleague of Geoffrey and became a substantial benefactor of the Trust – the permanent building on the Memorial site, Hunting Lodge, is named after him and his late wife Shelagh.
On the deaths of both Geoffrey and Clive in 2000, Richard was invited by the other trustees to become Chairman. He was born in 1946 and took an engineering degree followed by a MBA. In 1972 he joined the Hunting Group of Companies, a widely diversified international conglomerate which then included Field Aircraft Services (aviation support company) and Hunting Engineering (weapons contractor) as well as Aerofilms (oblique aerial photography) and Hunting Surveys (mapmaker from air photographs). Two Hunting brothers: Percy (Richard’s grandfather) and Lindsay (Clive’s father), had both been fascinated by aviation and its potential during service in the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War.
Richard served widely in the Hunting Group (now Hunting PLC) before becoming its Chairman (a position he still holds) in 1991. Amongst several other interests, he has been a Commissioner (2002-2008) of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, home of the Chelsea Pensioners. He lives in London, is married to Penny (Dr Penelope Hunting FSA – a London historian and author) and they have three children and, so far, three grandchildren.
Patrick Tootal OBE DL RAF (Ret’d)
Group Captain Patrick Tootal served in the RAF for 33 years as a pilot. In 1977 he commanded LXX (70) Squadron flying Hercules at RAF Lyneham. He held various staff and command appointments including becoming the first Defence Attaché in Buenos Aires nine years after the Falklands conflict.
After retiring from the RAF in 1993 he was the first County Field Officer for the Royal British Legion in Kent supporting the many volunteers who raise funds and provide welfare for the ex-Service community in need. He retired from this post in May 2005. In 2004 he was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant for Kent. In addition to being the Hon Secretary of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, he is Hon Secretary of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association, company secretary for the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust and President of his local RAFA Branch, the North Downs Branch of Royal Society of St George and 2374(Ditton) Squadron ATC. He is also Hon Treasurer of his local church.