Wing Commander Sophy Gardner MBE RAF (rtd), a Trustee of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, will be sharing knowledge gained after she was given access to national and royal archives relating to the RAF Memorial.
In what looks set to be a fascinating talk, Sophy will explore the challenges facing the RAF and Royal Navy after the first world war, when the focus was very much on the Army and the Western Front, and will discusss the functions and meanings of memorials at the site.
The talk begins at 2.30pm in the Geoffrey Page Centre, with admission free to Hurricane Members of our Friends of the Few organisation, £5 to Spitfire Members and just £10 for the public. The other attractions at the Capel-le-Ferne site, including The Scramble Experience, will also be available.
A final year PhD student at the University of Exeter in collaboration with the RAF Museum, Sophy Gardner is an experienced speaker who has delivered a paper at the National Maritime Museum about the Naval Memorial. A former RAF Wing Commander, she is researching the early politics of air power and the networks of power in Whitehall and Westminster in the inter-war years.
Sophy’s twenty year RAF career included serving as the Military Aide to the UK Component Commander during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, deployments to the Congo and Afghanistan, two years working in the MOD’s media and communications department and a tour on exchange with the Royal Navy on HMS Invincible. Her final posting was in command of Operations Wing at RAF Valley in Anglesey. She was awarded an MBE for her support to operations in Afghanistan in 2002.
Sophy’s talk will be followed on Sunday 28 July by a talk from Andy Saunders on “Battle of Britain Oddities” and by a recent addition to the list – Jim Nicolson on “James Nicolson VC DFC”.
Jim, who will be at the site on Sunday 29 September, again at 2.30pm, is the nephew of James Nicolson, the only Fighter Command pilot to have been awarded the Victoria Cross.
Jim Nicolson retired as Assistant Chief Constable of Hertfordshire Police after a 30-year career which covered such diverse events as the Watford rail crash and the Knebworth music festivals. He is a keen historian and regularly delivers talks about his uncle.
Booking is recommended for all talks as seats are limited to just 50. There’s more useful information here. Tickets can be booked by ringing 01303 249292 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org