Save the National Memorial to the Few

by Patrick Tootal in Capel Le Ferne, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 17th August 2020 we successfully raised £28,850 ( + est. £5404.00 Gift Aid ) with 817 supporters in 56 days

We urgently need to continue telling the tale of who won the Battle of Britain in 1940 and teach future generations about their courage.

by Patrick Tootal in Capel Le Ferne, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Save the National Memorial to the Few! 


The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust cares for the National Memorial to the Few, a clifftop tribute to the men who fought the Battle of Britain in 1940. Despite its name, the National Memorial receives not a single penny in public money, either from central or local government.

This Crowdfunder aims to help redress that balance and support this vital charity. We are aware, though, that not everyone is happy with online donations. For those people, we are both happy and grateful to accept cheques made payable to The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust CIO. They should be sent to The Secretary, c/o PO Box 337, West Malling, Kent ME6 9AA.

As well as looking after the site and preserving the memory of the fewer-than 3,000 men who saved this country from invasion, the Trust is committed to telling their story and educating young people about the bravery and sacrifice of the men Churchill called ‘the Few’.

The volunteers who make up the Trust have worked hard over the past 30 years, firstly to erect the Memorial to those who fought so bravely for our freedom and, since then, to develop the site and the experience it offers.  A replica Hurricane and Spitfire, the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall and, more recently, The Wing, a modern visitor centre featuring The Scramble Experience, have all been added.

Now, though, their efforts to remember the Few and teach young people about this important part of the nation’s history face a major setback, with the COVID-19 pandemic having a huge impact on the charity.

Until today (17 July), The Wing and the car park were closed to visitors because of the pandemic. It has left the Trust, which faces running costs of some £240,000 a year, with no income and a funding gap of around £80,000. The shop was shut, The Scramble Experience was shut, the café was shut and the car park was shut. It has now, cautiously, reopened, but faces an uphill task to replace that lost income.

In this short video, our Young Ambassador, Jacob Jennings explains why you should carry on donating to this crowdfunder: 

In this short video, Chairman Richard Hunting, Honorary Secretary Patrick Tootal and Site Manager Jules Gomez, explain why should support our crowdfunder: 

In this short video, Actor, John Challis, tells you why you should support this crowdfunder: 

 

In this next video, John Nichol, a retired Royal Air Force navigator who was shot down and captured during the Gulf War, explains why you should support this crowdfunder: 

In this short video, Actress, Sue Holderness, tells you why you should support this crowdfunder:

In this next video, Mike Ling, the longest serving Red Arrow, tells you why you should support this crowdfunder:

In this short video, Mandy Hickson, the second woman to fly the Tornado GR4 and the former Royal Air Force pilot, tells you why you should support this crowdfunder:

In this next video, best-selling Author and Historian, Dilip Sarkar MBE, explains why you should support this crowdfunder: 

Even in a good year, the Trust relies on donations and a ‘Friends of the Few’ membership scheme, together with talks and special events, to make up the difference between those income streams and its outgoings. Now, although the Trust has worked hard to keep the outside features of the site open, including the clifftop Memorial, so that visitors on foot can pay their respects, every event has been cancelled.

Given the setbacks and challenges facing the men of the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain, the Trust has been determined to fight on during the battle against the coronavirus. It has organised Facebook Live events from the site, created lockdown material for families to enjoy and kept supporters on board with the latest developments. 

The situation, though, is bleak. Even if the Memorial is allowed to open in mid-July it is very unlikely that the number of visitors would generate enough to cover this year’s running costs – and preparing the site to open safely has itself generated extra costs.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£15 or more

141 of 600 claimed

Battle of Britain Propeller Lapel Pin

Make a donation of £15 and receive a free Battle of Britain Memorial Trust lapel pin. Our three-bladed ‘Mk 1 Spitfire’ propeller pins were given as gifts to the Few at a commemorative event on the 70th anniversary in 2010. This is your chance to wear one with pride.

£30 or more

Become a ‘Spitfire’ Friend – With Free Pin

Our Friend of the Few membership scheme has two levels. Spitfire membership is designed for those who live further away and are unable to take advantage of some of the site benefits but who still want to support the Trust. Join now to get all the membership benefits – including back copies of our unique 1940 magazine - and we’ll add a free Friends of the Few lapel pin.

£40 or more

Sponsor a Name on the Memorial Wall

Fewer than 3,000 RAF aircrew took part in the Battle of Britain, their names carved in the black granite of the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall at Capel-le-Ferne. For just £40 you can sponsor the name of your choice, a unique tribute that will also support the charity. In return we’ll send you the official record of your aircrew as listed in Men of the Battle of Britain, sent in a presentation folder – with a free Friends of the Few pin.

£50 or more

Become a ‘Hurricane’ Friend – With Free Pin

Our Friend of the Few membership scheme has two levels. Hurricane membership is designed for those who live closer to the site and can take advantage of the many discounts and other benefits on offer as well as doing their bit to support the Trust. Join now to get all the membership benefits – including back copies of our unique 1940 magazine - and we’ll add a free Friends of the Few lapel pin.

£100 or more

A Private Guided Tour with Refreshments

For a donation of £100, you and a friend will enjoy a personal guided tour of the Battle of Britain Memorial site on the clifftops at Capel-le-Ferne, followed by a visit to The Scramble Experience in The Wing and complimentary light refreshments. You will be told the story of the Memorial and the other features at the site, together with some fascinating tales of the Few who fought the Battle of Britain in 1940.

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