Renewing friendships at the IBCC

Friendships were renewed when members of the Trust travelled to Lincolnshire to visit the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC).

Chairman Richard Hunting, Secretary Patrick Tootal and Trustee Andrew Simpson were joined by former President, now Life Vice-President, Sir Michael Graydon and Lady Graydon.

The group was met by the centre’s Chief Executive, Mrs Nicky van der Drift, who had visited the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne with the late Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Tony Worth, when the IBCC was being planned.

The centre, designed as a world-class facility to promote recognition, remembrance and reconciliation for the men and women of Bomber Command, features a stunning Memorial Spire surrounded by a series of Walls of Names.

Now recognised as the UK’s tallest war memorial, The Spire commands impressive views across Lincoln to the city’s ancient cathedral, which served as a sighting point for crews flying from Lincolnshire.

The Spire is 102ft (31.09m) high, the wingspan of the Avro Lancaster bomber, and as wide as a Lancaster wing – 16ft (5m) – at the base.

The Walls of Names remember almost 58,000 men and women who lost their lives serving or supporting Bomber Command during WWII. The 271 individual panels surround the Spire in a series of circles framing the view of the city and the cathedral.

In a tribute that reflects the Trust’s view that every airman who took part in the Battle of Britain should be equally honoured, the names honouring Bomber Command’s losses do not include rank or decorations. That is also true of the Christopher Foxley-Norris Wall at Capel-le-Ferne.

The Chairman, the Secretary and Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon were all able to locate family member’s names on the Memorial, the only place in the world where all Bomber Command’s losses are commemorated.

The IBCC is also home to the Chadwick Centre, which – like The Wing – uses state-of-the-art technology and interactive displays to tell the story of Bomber Command through the eyes of those who witnessed events first-hand. It features interviews with veterans of both air and ground crews and support staff from around the world.

Richard Hunting, Andy Simpson, Sir Michael and Lady Graydon and Patrick Tootal

Patrick IBCC

Patrick Tootal with his father’s name on one of the walls at the IBCC

Richard Hunting IBCC

Chairman Richard Hunting finds a family member

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