Trustees and volunteers are working hard this week to make sure everything is in place for this year’s Memorial Day event on Sunday (14 July).
The replica Spitfire and Hurricane have been repainted and returned to the site, the white painted propeller blade that make the site so visible from the air have been refurbished and even the weather forecast is on our side.
Sunday’s event marks the 20th anniversary of the site, opened by Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1993, and so the Trust will be looking back over the past two decades as well as looking forward to building work getting underway at The Wing now that much of the funding for the project has been secured.
Guest of honour at the event, which will also feature a Spitfire and Hurricane flypast and display, will be HRH Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO, who is the Trust’s Patron.
On parade with memories of their own will be around a dozen members of the group of men Churchill first described as ‘the Few’, the veterans of the Battle of Britain.
This year’s Memorial Day, which marks the 73rd anniversary of the Battle, will once again feature music from the RAF Central Band as well as from 305 (Ashford) Squadron of the Air Training Corps, which will play at 11.30am.
Gates open at 10am, the general salute and flypast from a Spitfire and Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will take place at 1.30pm and the flying display at 3pm will be followed by a Sunset Ceremony at 4pm.
The National Memorial to the Few is on the New Dover Road, just outside Folkestone (CT18 7JJ). Memorial Day is free, although the Trust will be collecting money towards the cost of fitting out The Wing. The Service of Commemoration will be led by the Venerable (AVM) Ray Pentland, CB, QHC, Chaplain-in-Chief of the RAF. A bar and refreshment are available and parking is free.