27 June, 2012
Seventy years ago my grandad, serving in RAF Bomber Command, was shot down and taken POW. He survived the war. Of the 125,000 Bomber Command crew, almost half were killed.
Tomorrow, the first major public memorial to the 55,573 airmen killed will be unveiled by Her Majesty the Queen. It commemorates the young RAF crew who didn’t return home and those of all nations who lost their lives in the bombing campaigns.
After tomorrow’s events, guardianship of the memorial will pass to the RAF’s main charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund, which supports veterans, serving personnel and their families. Our role has been to help the RAF Benevolent Fund manage media relations for the ceremony.
There has been much debate about the memorial, which is to be expected. My grandad didn’t talk much about his experiences and he is not here to see the event take place. But I think he would have been moved by it, and pleased that the difficult legacy of Bomber Command will not be forgotten.