Battle of Britain 70th anniversary: plans unveiled for memorial learning centre

The Daily Telegraph reports that Battle of Britain veterans gathered on the white cliffs of Dover (Sunday 11 Jul 2010) on the 70th anniversary of their finest hour to launch a new campaign to keep their memory alive.

Just 89 of the 2,940 men who flew in the Battle survive, and the last of The Few are anxious to make sure their story is told to future generations.

As they met for their annual Memorial Day to remember the 544 fighter pilots who died in the Battle between July 10 and October 31, 1940, plans were unveiled for a new learning centre overlooking the cliffs, which will be aimed at schoolchildren.

Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC, who flew Hurricanes with 605 Squadron, said: “Our aim is to keep the memory alive and the obvious way to do it is by showing the younger generation what happened.

“If you stand here looking over the Channel you can visualise hundreds of bombers coming in from France and so this is the right place to build something before we all go.”

Mr Foster was one of 19 pilots attending the Memorial Day ceremony at the Battle of Britain National Memorial in Capel-le-Ferne, Kent, where the £650,000 learning centre is to be built.

It will be housed in replica RAF dispersal huts to give the site the feel of a wartime station.

... Richard Hunting, chairman of the trustees of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, said: “The youngest of our veterans is now approaching 90 and we have to accept that they won’t always be around to help remind people of that critical point in this country’s history, which is why this learning centre is needed to engage future generations of young people in the events of 1940.” ...

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