World-class conductor Anthony Inglis swapped his baton for his laptop yesterday (Sunday 21 Nov) when he gave the first in-person presentation to an enthusiastic audience in The Geoffrey Page Centre in The Wing.
Hon Sec Patrick Tootal welcomed the audience to the first of a new season of talks and the first live event since the pandemic, although the Trust has organised a number of online talks and presentations to keep supporters involved over the past 18 months or so.
Anrthony, who is music director of the London Concert Orchestra and works with superstar mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins OBE, gave a fascinating presentation on his family’s remarkable links with the Royal Air Force, entitled 100 Years of RAF Family Flying History.
Anthony Inglis Howard-Williams’s family has been flying with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the RAF for the past century, occupying virtually every rank, from a current Flight Lieutenant - his 24 year-old Chinook pilot son Dominic - to an Air Marshal.
His paternal grandfather won the Military Cross flying over Mons and Passchendaele during World War 1 and was effectively number two at Fighter Command to Dowding at the outbreak of the second world war, until the two fell out.
Anthony’s maternal grandfather was head of RAF Intelligence during World War 2, reporting directly to Churchill and sent by him to Roosevelt after Pearl Harbour to persuade the Americans to enter the war in Europe rather than just in the Far East. His great uncle, as senior air commander to Lord Gort, came up with the idea of the Dunkirk “little Ships”, while another uncle, Squadron Leader P J Howard-Williams, served in the Battle of Britain with No 19 Squadron and played himself in the film The First of The Few. His father was a night fighter pilot and son Dominic serves with No 18 Squadron at RAF Odiham.