Battle of Britain Monument Home THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN LONDON MONUMENT Battle of Britain London Monument
The Battle of Britain London Monument "Never in the field of human
conflict was so much owed
by so many to so few
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The Historical Society gives its perspective

Interview with Edward McManus, representing the Battle of Britain Historical Society


What does this monument mean to the members of the Historical Society?
We felt it was important to recognise one of the key battles of World War II. If we had lost that battle there was a good chance that we would have lost the war. It was a close run thing. At the end of the Battle, Hitler abandoned the planned invasion of Britain. He then focused on intensive night time bombing of most of Britain's major cities and ports. This came to be called the Blitz.

The battle was unusual for Britain in that it wasn't fought on foreign soil. It was actually fought above our heads, mainly over London and South East England. We felt that such a tremendous achievement had not been properly recognised. When you consider that we deployed over 10,000 people in the first Gulf War yet during the Battle of Britain the country was defended by less than 3,000 airmen, a fraction of the attendance at say a Premiership game,then it was vital to address the lack of awareness of the battle and its importance amongst subsequent generations.

We also wanted to recognise the human stories and the impact of not just the airmen but also the other front line ground crew and the many support people. Whilst the airmen were the highest priority, the ground crew were also absolutely vital. These support staff included many women and we felt it was important to highlight their contribution since they were an integral part of the effort. Their efforts will be reflected in some of the scenes on the monument.

What involvement has the Historical Society had in the Monument?
The initial idea for the monument came from the Historical Society. There was then considerable discussion and liaison with Westminster Council and we would like to thank them for their support. Between the Society and the Council we selected the Architects (Donald Insall Associates) and then the funding committee came to be formed. We were delighted when Lord Tebbit (a former RAF pilot) agreed to become its chairman. The Committee, Architects and the Society were instrumental in selecting Paul Day as the Sculptor and Morris Singer as the foundry.

We have been heavily involved in the overall implementation of the project and have taken responsibility for producing the definitive list of airmen's names. See the separate page for a discussion on why a definitive list was not available and had to be produced.

What feedback have you been getting from the public?
The reaction from the public has been overwhelmingly positive. All the responses from people who have seen the plans or maquettes (small bronze models) have provided great encouragement for us. This has been very welcome since the monument is being entirely funded by public donations.

Some of the younger people have been fascinated about the whole battle since they were not aware of the history and how close Britain came to being invaded.

I believe the monument will be a stunning visual memorial to all those who took part in that desperate battle.

Edward Mc Manus
Battle of Britain Monument Committee. August 2004

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Battle of Britain Monument