Monday, 1 July 2013

Remembering The Bomber Boys

As the 68th anniversary of Bomber Command approaches, the people behind the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial are working extremely hard in order to establish their own memorial to those brave, bomber boys, many of whom were lost whilst serving at bases in and around the county of Lincolnshire.

According to the records, 3491 aircraft taking off from Lincolnshire during the war never returned. In total, 55,573 airmen lost their lives. Out of those, 25,000 were from bases in Lincolnshire. The average age of aircrew was reported to be 22 years old with many still in their late teens. Casualties in Bomber Command were among the highest out of all the allied forces.

For decades, acres of crumbling tarmac around disused and decaying watch towers have been the only signs left of the majority of bases from which our Bombers operated. Ghost stations and no more. Overlooked at the end of the war when Churchill delivered his speech, congratulating and thanking the rest of the forces, they became the forgotten and were in a sense disenfranchised. What is certainly not questionable is the fact that thousands of young men bravely volunteered and went forth into the ranks of Bomber Command, to serve as they were required to serve; to obey orders and to do their duties to the best of their abilities, often under the most difficult of circumstances.

To be informed at the beginning of your first tour that the average life span of aircrew is a mere six weeks must have been terrifying and then to be told to write your last letter home, so that it is ready to be sent, should you not return from your mission.

And so it was on a glorious day in 2012, that the eagerly anticipated Bomber Command Memorial was finally unveiled in central London, more than sixty five years since the end of the war. Finally, the recognition those men deserve.

Going back to Lincolnshire, the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial have been working tirelessly to have their own memorial to honour the brave men of Bomber Command and to remember the sacrifices they made. It's to be sited on Canwick Hill in Lincoln in sight of the Cathedral. The views from the hill are spectacular with the cathedral standing as an important landmark, one which would guide returning Bombers back to their bases, and one which would be the last view of home for many an airman, never to return. And so it seems to be a fitting place for a memorial that will be a permanent reminder to lasting generations of the sacrifice and bravery of thousands of airmen of Bomber Command, based in Lincolnshire.

They plan to have the memorial completed by May 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. Please pay their website a visit and visit them on Facebook also - they will truly appreciate your support. There are some beautiful stories on the website under the 'Memories' tab. It really is so very special when family & friends post their memories of their loved ones, revealing their personal stories -life, love and loss -poignant and precious to read about and always with lessons to learn.

I'm certain that the memorial will be a poignant and fitting landmark, drawing visitors who wish to pay their respects in honour of the fallen; who wish to read the names of those who once flew above their heads, leaving the city and the cathedral behind as they flew into the clouds above. And once again whispers in the county sound out their names.

No comments:

Post a Comment