Plans are coming together for a ‘virtual’ Memorial Day on Sunday (12 July) that will allow supporters around the world to join us as we highlight the bravery and sacrifice of the Few.
This special day, which will mark the 80th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain, will include unique footage of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in action.
The Trust, which was forced to close the car park and visitor centre at its Capel-le-Ferne home because of the Covid-19 pandemic, took the decision at the start of the lockdown to run the annual Memorial Day as a virtual event.
Since then AVM The Ven Ray Pentland CB, Honorary Chaplain to the Trust, has been working hard on creating an exciting online experience that will go live at 11am on Sunday on YouTube and on the Trust’s Facebook page. While Trustees are working hard on re-opening the site as soon as it has been assessed as ‘Covid safe’, please note that this will not happen before Sunday, and there will be nothing to see at the site on that day.
“We have put together an exciting online event, including previously unbroadcast 2020 footage of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, but it has all been recorded already and nothing will be happening here are Capel-le-Ferne,” said Trust Chairman Richard Hunting CBE.
The virtual event promises to recreate the colourful spectacle that normally greets the crowds who arrive at the clifftop home of the Memorial for the annual commemoration. It will be posted on the Trust’s new YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/BattleofBritainMemorial and on Facebook, (@rememberthefew) where supporters have enjoyed a number of Facebook Live events in recent weeks.
Along with the Memorial Flight’s spectacular contribution, the virtual event will include music from the Band of the RAF Regiment and an introduction from Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton GCB, the President of the Trust.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston CBE ADC, will also feature and there will be contributions from some of the much-loved and now departed members of the Few, including a film of Flt Lt William Walker reading his poem Our Wall in front of the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall.
The Chaplain will lead the Act of Remembrance, which will also feature the Hon Secretary of the Trust, Group Captain Patrick Tootal OBE DL and the chairman. Family and friends will also pay their own tributes at this point, as well as serving members of the RAF, including aircrew who patrol our skies and defend the country today.
“We were naturally disappointed when we were forced to cancel Memorial Day, but we quickly decided to follow the example of the Few and face the challenge head on,” said Richard. “This year’s virtual event will clearly not be the same as a ‘real’ Memorial Day, but it will still be a great occasion; a time for us all to come together to remember the Few during this very special year.”
Don’t forget to tune in to www.youtube.com/c/BattleofBritainMemorial in time for the event at 11am on Sunday 12 July.