Bomber Command

The fact that London is full of statues commemorating the Second World War shows what significance this event had to the British people.  Interestingly, this memorial to Bomber Command is fairly new; it was unveiled in 2012.  This says much about the divided views on the use of bombing in warfare and, in particular, the bombing campaign by the RAF in the war.  Whatever the views, there is no escaping the fact that over 55,000 aircrew died and these men, many of them young, were not the politicians who waged war.

The bronze statue was designed by sculptor Philip Jackson.   Liam O’Connor designed the structure that surrounds the sculpture.  In its position on Piccadilly, near Hyde Park Corner, it is very imposing and it certainly reflects the military nature of the exercise.  However, if you step inside, you can see the faces of people, each one representing a job on a typical bomber.  These men could be British or Canadian, Czech, Polish or any of the countries of the Commonwealth who fought in this way.  They were real people and many died.

It seems right that this branch of the military is represented in London, given that there are other memorials to the others who fought.  It must have been strange for those who served in Bomber Command to think their contribution was inconvenient in the post war world.

Perhaps memorials like these should be visited more often by our modern politicians and their enthusiasm for bombing others might be kept under control.


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