ON Thursday I was privileged to stand amongst the surviving ‘Bomber Boys’ at the unveiling of the memorial to the 55,573 members of Bomber Command who lost their lives taking the fight back to the Nazi heartland.
These great old men represented the half of the Command that survived.
They stood in the boiling sun to see their Queen unveil this marvellous and long overdue monument to their efforts.
They returned from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Poland and across the nation to honour their fallen comrades.
During the war many of them took off from the many airfields across our ‘Bomber County’, and for them the sighting of Lincoln Cathedral meant they had made it home from that night’s hell.
Grantham has a connection to one of the most famous raids of the war, the raid by 617 Squadron (the Dam Busters) on the Ruhr dams, which was planned and monitored from St Vincents, the headquarters of 5 Group at the time.
After 67 years a wrong has at last been righted and I’m sure the Queen was aware of the thanks of those old lads as she smiled her way through the ceremony and as she walked among them.
Perhaps the 55,573 looking down were saying: “Thanks your Majesty.”
It is well worth a visit if you are in London.
The detail of the seven figures is remarkable, as are the emotions shown on the different faces. They will now be remembered.
Chairman Fenland Branch of the Bomber Command Association
Aviary Close, Grantham