Battle Of Britain Gala Dinner

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 21st October 2010


I count myself very fortunate to have become involved with the Battle of Britain Memorial and the associated events which have been staged this year.

A couple of weeks ago it was the ‘End of the Battle – Gala Dinner’ at the RAF Club in London in the presence of the delightful Prince Michael of Kent.

What a wonderful evening – so much elegance and good feeling. It wasn’t a massive affair – only about 120 guests (so I really was honoured) and every table had one of the Few as the main Guest (and they are getting fewer and fewer).

Group Capt. Tootal and his wife Janet have worked themselves to a frazzle this year organising so many events. I didn’t know Janet has such a beautiful voice. She and another lady commenced the evening with a very special song of remembrance and I was one of many in the room reaching for a hankie.

There was a very special Auction and another Silent Auction of so many wonderful artefacts ranging from Original Oils, and a flight in a Spitfire to a signed print of the delightfully simple poem which was written by a Veteran ( William Walker from 616 Squadron) and unveiled at Capel on Memorial Day this year and an Unused Petrol Coupon date stamped 16 March 1940.

I did push the boat a bit further than I should have but didn’t manage to secure any of the wonderful bits of memorabilia. However they raised a very healthy amount for the Battle of Britain Memorial Fund which is what is was all about.

Obviously there were many interesting folk to talk with but, again, a coincidence – I spent quite a time talking to Wing Cdr. Simpson about Rene Mouchotte and, guess what, last week a package arrived from him with a whole load of information which I hadn’t got – because he had been at Biggin Hill in 1993 before it was de-commissioned and had access to much archive material and, of course, Rene was stationed at Biggin for a time. Indeed when Christopher Foxley Norris was hospitalized for a while, Rene took over the Squadron.

I’ve been invited to Capel again for  the unveiling, by the Duchess of Cornwall, of the Bust to Sir Keith Park.  More in the next Blog.

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