The Memorial Trust celebrated the 30th anniversary of the unveiling of the National Memorial to the Few by announcing details of a bold new initiative.
Sunday’s (9 July) Memorial Day marked the launch of an ambitious fund-raising appeal to enhance and broaden the experience of everyone who visits this popular place of pilgrimage.
The appeal, unveiled by the President of the Trust and former Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton GCB, ADC, is aiming to raise £1m to extend Hunting Lodge, the Trust’s library and resource centre.
The extension will allow the building to be used to display more of the Battle of Britain-linked artefacts it has been given over the years and will also enable a state-of-the-art dogfight simulator to be installed, allowing budding pilots and others to ‘take to the air’ in a Spitfire or Messerschmitt Bf 109.
The aim of the appeal is to further the Trust’s twin aims of commemorating the bravery and sacrifice of the Few and inspiring and educating future generations about the aerial victory in 1940 that forced Hitler to abandon the Nazis’ invasion plans.
This critical battle preserved the freedom of this country and meant it could be the springboard for the D-Day landings four years later.
Sir Stephen said the aim was to allow visitors to learn more about the Battle and experience something of what the fighter aircrew of the Royal Air Force were up against in the summer and early autumn of 1940.
The Trust plans to install two high-tech simulators that will allow visitors to compete in an aerial dogfight, giving them an idea of what the Few faced when they scrambled to meet the superior numbers of enemy aircraft during the Battle. The appeal will also fund the necessary extension to Hunting Lodge and create more display space for a number of interesting and important items.
“As a charity with no central or local government funding, the Trust can only make a reality of this dream with the help of supporters, and so we are looking for public help to raise the £1m needed to make the Memorial an even more relevant, instructive and exciting place to visit for the next 30 years,” added Sir Stephen.
To donate to the appeal, please click here