The Story of the Unveiling
In this section
- The Abbey service
- Prince Charles's speech
- Veterans and survivorsAbbey service
The unveiling of the monument took place on 18 September 2005. This day was chosen since every year this Sunday in September is remembered as Battle of Britain Sunday. The day started with a service of Thanksgiving and Rededication in Westminster Abbey.
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The Prince paid tribute to everyone who was involved during the Battle, whether they were on the ground or in the air, British or from the allies who came to help us. He also spoke about how poignant he found it that many of the pilots who fought and died were younger than his own sons.
click here for full text of speechThe Prince also wrote
a forweword for the
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Lord Tebbit, chairman of the fundraising committee, showed the royal party around the monument, and introduced the party to some of the key people who made it all happen.
The picture below shows Bill Bond (original idea for the Monument), Maurice Djanogly (vice chair of the appeal committee), Paul Day (the Sculptor) and Tony Dyson (the Architect).
Some surviving aircrew and their families were then introduced to the Prince and Duchess.
The unveiling was also attended by over 70 surviving battle pilots, and other survivors who lived through it on the ground.
A flypast by a Spitfire and a Hurricane added to the occasion.
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Some of the key donors and sponsors attended the unveiling.
Edward Fox and Dame Vera Lynn sponsored and helped promote the project from the very beginning.
Below is the sculptor (Paul Day) looking at Scramble; the centrepiece.
Media from around the world attended. The story ran in all the UK national newspapers the following day. As well as appearing on all the main UK TV channels the TV pictures were also shown in Belgium, The Czech Republic, New Zealand, and the USA
After the event
The monument is now attracting great attention with many visitors spending a lot of time studying the scenes.