Memorial Day at Capel-le-Ferne is always a special day, and the 2016 event was no exception. It marked the 75th anniversary of the ATC as well as the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and was well attended by civic dignitaries and members of the public.
As usual the stars of the show were the veterans – this year seeing a welcome appearance by Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum and Wing Commander Paul Farnes – and a Spitfire and Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which thrilled the crowds with an initial flypast and a later display.
As usual we welcomed air attaches from other European countries including Poland and the Czech Republic and Slovakia. One of our regular visitors, Tom Dolezal, took some great pictures and uploaded a story to the website of the Free Czechoslovak Air Force Associates. You can find it here.
Free Czechoslovak Air Force Associates is a voluntary organisation dedicated to the remembrance of the 2,500 Czechoslovak men and women who served in the RAF during WW2.
Tom explains: “A total of 511 of those men and women died during that conflict, with their graves being in the UK, Europe, Egypt, Canada and the Bahamas. After WW2, when the Communists took control of Czechoslovakia, these men and women were persecuted by this new regime causing many, if they were fortunate enough, to have to escape into exile to the West again.
“Thus the majority of our volunteers are descendants of those who escaped and who are now spread around the world. Through our website www.fcafa.com we provide an online English language resource of information about those 2,500 so that people throughout the world can have a better understanding of this period of Czechoslovak history.
Tom returned to the site the following morning and was able to capture this stunning shot of the sun rising behind the Memorial. PLEASE NOTE the photograph is Copyright Tom Dolezal. All rights reserved.
And make a note in your diaries for next year, when Memorial Day will take place on Sunday 9 July.