One of the country’s most visionary leaders during the Battle of Britain is remembered at the far end of the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall, where Lord Dowding’s bust now sits alongside that of Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Park.
The bust of Lord Dowding, who, as Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, led RAF Fighter Command throughout the Battle of Britain in 1940, was carved by Will Davies, the sculptor who also created the bust of Sir Keith.
It was unveiled on Wed 31 May 2017 by His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, who was accompanied by guests including Wing Commander Paul Farnes DFM, one of the Few.
Dowding was at the head of Fighter Command following its formation in 1936, and was responsible for this country’s air defence system, including radio direction finding (radar), Observer Corps posts and control rooms. It was these innovations, together with the bravery and sacrifice of the aircrew and those who supported them, which led to the RAF’s victory in the Battle of Britain.
Also at the unveiling was Odette, Lady Dowding, the daughter-in-law of Lord Dowding and widow of the late Wing Commander Derek Dowding, another of the Few.
Visitors will notice that while the bust of Sir Keith is looking out to where the battle was fought. Lord Dowding’s head is turned towards the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall, on which members of the Few – his “chicks” – are listed.