Bomber Command Memorial Green Park

Jan Leeming

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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.

BOMBER COMMAND MEMORIAL - GREEN PARK

Date: 27th August 2012

Over the weekend, saw the Bomber Command Memorial at Green Park.  It is very admirable.  Loved the sculptures of the Crew - comprising a complement of seven men all totally reliant on the other.  There was a terrible attrition rate with the bomber crews and one out of every two didn't make it home.

There was huge controversy at the end of the war over 'Dresden being a bombing too far' and Winston Churchill and other members of the Government distanced themselves from Bomber Harris and the Bomber Crews.  Put simply this is why there's been no memorial to these valiant men until now - and long overdue it is.  (The Poles suffered too - in order not to offend Stalin, Winston Churchill would not allow the valiant Poles to take part in the Victory Parade at the end of the war - doesn't everything come down to Politics, Religion and Money!!)

I'm involved with the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington just outside York.  It was the largest Bomber base of the war and among other factors, it had over 2,000 French stationed there who formed their own squadrons Tunisie and Guyenne.  Ian Reed, the Museum Director, worked long and hard over a period of 5 years to get recognition of the French and succeeded last year when a memorial was dedicated to them, blessed by the Archbishop of York and dedicated in front of the two Chiefs of the Air Staff - Sir Stephen Dalton and Gen. Jean-Paul Palomèros.  The memorial is now to be found behind the main RAF memorial in York Minster.  

If you visit the musuem, in one of the Nissen huts there's an exhibition of Gun Turrets - it makes you claustrophic just looking at them and as for the courage of the rear-gunners (sitting ducks in the bombers) it defies description.

I salute the Bomber Crews and am glad that they have finally got the recognition and a Monument they deserve - shame it took so long.  And in case anyone queries the cost at a time of recession - the money for the Monument was raised privately by subscription.

I only had my mobile phone with me so when I can get the photos off it (you know me - a total technophobe and I'll have to wait for the lovely Paul to come to my aid as always) then I'll post some for you.

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.