I’m very honoured to have been invited by the RAF to the opening of the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park on thursday. This long-awaited public memorial will commemorate the 55,573 young airmen and people of all nations who lost their lives in the controversial bombing campaigns of World War II. Thousands of veterans, their widows and family members from all over the world are coming together to commemorate their lost relatives and comrades. I’ll be going with Reggie Hay from the taxi charity – in a Black Cab of course. We’re taking Eric Davies and his brother, who’s flying in from New Zealand especially. Both are veterans from Bomber Command. Whatever you think about the WWII bombing campaigns, you can’t ignore how much this memorial means to the veterans who took part. “I’ve got a lump in my throat just talking to you about it”, Eric said when I talked to him at the weekend. My grand-father Euan Bloomfield was in Bomber Command. I’ll be writing something about him to go in the Time Capsule that will be interred within the structure later his year.
During the ceremony, the Queen will unveil a nine foot high bronze sculpture depicting seven Bomber Command aircrew. There’ll be a flypast by five RAF GR4 Tornado bomber aircraft and by the RAF’s last flying Lancaster Bomber. Thousands of poppies will be dropped over Green Park as a message of remembrance.