HRH Prince Michael pictured by the new Lord Dowding bust memorial. (c) Barry Duffield DL.
Tributes were paid to one of the country’s most visionary leaders during the Battle of Britain, Lord Dowding, at a statue unveiling ceremony attended by HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO at the National Memorial to the Few at Capel-le-Ferne, on 31st May. A bust of Lord Dowding, who, as Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, led RAF Fighter Command throughout the battle in 1940, was commissioned by the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust and carved by sculptor Will Davies, and Prince Michael of Kent unveiled the bust at the ceremony.
From left to right: The Lord-Lieutenant, Viscount De L’Isle MBE; Trust Chairman, Richard Hunting CBE; Wing Commander Paul Farnes DFM, one of The Few. (c) Barry Duffield DL.
Lord Dowding, in his role as Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, played a huge part in the RAF’s victory over the Luftwaffe. He had put in place the air defence system which made effective use of radio direction finding – the forerunner of radar – and revolutionised the country’s defences.
HRH Prince Michael pictured with staff and volunteer helpers, by the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall.(c) Barry Duffield DL.
Prince Michael, who was escorted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle MBE, is patron of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust. Also in attendance was Wing Commander Paul Farnes DFM, one of The Few. Prince Michael met members of the trust, along with staff, volunteers and some donors.
Left to right: Major (Ret’d) Jules Gomez, Site Manager, with Janet Tootal BEM, presenting a mahogany model of a Hurricane to HRH Prince Michael, Patron of the Trust, following the unveiling ceremony. (c) Barry Duffield DL.
Lord Dowding died in 1970 at his home in Tunbridge Wells and his ashes were buried in the RAF Chapel,Westminster Abbey, where members of The Few have traditionally paid tribute to him every September. Lord Trenchard (Marshal of the RAF) and Lord Dowding together headed a committee to raise funds for the furnishing of the RAF chapel and for a stained glass Battle of Britain Memorial Window to be installed there in 1947.