Battle of Britain South-West Memorial Appeal

The Battle of Britain was fought between 10 July – 31 October 1940, RAF Fighter Command preventing Hitler’s Luftwaffe from achieving aerial supremacy over southern England as a prelude to a seaborne invasion. On 20 August 1940, Churchill paid tribute to Fighter Command, immortalising the young RAF aircrews as the ‘Few’ – 544 of whom lost their lives that fateful summer during what was a fight for survival.

Battle of Britain pilots’ graves at Holy Trinity, Warmwell – fighter pilots killed in action over the West Country.

It is easy, perhaps, to think of the Battle of Britain just being fought over London and the south-east. Certainly London and the sector airfields around the capital were prime targets – but so was the West Country.

Huge aerial battles were fought over Channel-bound convoys, the naval base at Portland, and the Few flew from such West Country bases as Middle Wallop, Warmwell, Boscombe Down, and even Bibury in Gloucestershire. The aircraft factories at Filton, Yate and Yeovil were all heavily bombed, the fighting intense. This must be remembered.

A 609 ‘West Riding’ Squadron Spitfire being re-armed and re-fuelled at Warmwell immediately after a combat in August 1940.

We have, of course, the National Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne, Folkestone, Kent, and the Battle of Britain Monument on Westminster’s iconic Embankment – but there is no specific memorial to the Battle of Britain in the West Country.

This we now seek to change by launching a Crowdfunding appeal to fund a new South-West memorial at Bowleaze Cove, Weymouth, Dorset. The project has been initiated by Weymouth-based enthusiast and 152 Squadron historian Rob Oliver, and land has been donated by local businessman, Jon Davenport, proprietor of the Beachside Complex at Bowleaze. A local firm, M&P Bricklayers Ltd, run by Carl Mutch and Lee Pattison, are supportive and will build the memorial. The project is also backed by Battle of Britain historian and best-selling author Dilip Sarkar MBE.

Pilot Officers David Crook DFC (left) and Geoffrey Gaunt at Warmwell – Gaunt was shot down in flames and killed on ‘Battle of Britain Day’, 15 September 1940.

The project will be funded by a Crowdfunding page,  “Sponsor a Hero”, and live as of 1 July 2020, where the public have the opportunity to sponsor the name of one of the 544 young men who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the epic Battle of Britain. These names of the fallen will be displayed on three stainless steel plaques, on the front of the memorial, and comprise the complete Roll of Honour. 

The site at Bowleaze Cove where the Battle of Britain Memorial South-West will be built – overlooking Portland, the scene of heavy fighting.
Author and historian Dilip Sarkar MBE with Rob Oliver at the memorial site. The tribute will include the full Roll of Honour, remembering all of the Few.
Click on the image to visit our Crowdfunding page and sponsor a hero today!

Contact details:

Jon Davenport  Beachside complex. jcfdavenport@gmail.com

Tel : 01305 833216

Dilip Sarkar MBE  Historian and author. dilipsarkarmbe@yahoo.co.uk

Tel: 07780878477

M&P Bricklayers Ltd. mp.brick.ltd@gmail.com Tel: 07891516831.

Rob Oliver sponsorahero20@gmail.com Tel : 07794416364 

This will be the only memorial in the South West for the Battle of Britain – and is long overdue. Please support us!