Czech Ambassador His Excellency Libor Sečka visited the Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne last week to pay his respects to Czech airmen who took part in the Battle of Britain.
The visit was part of the ‘Never Forgotten’ initiative which will see the ambassador visit all Czech RAF and Army graves across the UK this year in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
On his way to the Memorial, where he left floral tributes to those of his countrymen who shared in the Allied struggle against the might of the Luftwaffe in 1940, he visited the graves of Czech pilots Josef Dygrýn at Westwell and Vilém Göth at Sittingbourne,
Writing of his visit, the ambassador reflected: “Above the cliffs at the Battle of Britain Memorial, we were waiting for a genuine, chilly English fog.
“At times, only the wild gusts of the wind, through which the passing Hurricane Brendan had been whipping the mainland, were cutting through it. And icy rain. ‘A dog would not go out in this weather’, we used to say at home. We have heard the sea, but we have not seen it.
“The Memorial [at Capel-le-Ferne] is dominated by a statue of a seated pilot looking out for his comrades. They did not return. Like many of the 88 Czechoslovak heroes whose names are engraved on the plaque. Many of them remained missing. Special memorial panels are dedicated to their memory at Runnymede Cemetery, southwest of London.
“In the roar of the wind and the distant noise of the turbulent sea, we honoured them.”