HQ PTC RAF Innsworth
For the attention of Mr Andrew Wise, Editor
Dear Mr Wise,
However, your piece omitted that the Observer Corps, Southern Area Command HQ was established at Bentley Priory in1935 followed in 1938 by the Observer Corps Headquarters. The Corps was granted its Royal Warrant in April 1941 as a recognition of the invaluable assistance given to the RAF during The Battle of Britain. Headquarters Royal Observer Corps closed in March 1996 following the stand-down of its NBC specialists and ending sixty years of continuous and highly valued contact with the RAF.
Apart from the historical connection there are within the building tangible reminders of the ROC's association with Bentley Priory. There is a full length portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, Commandant-in-Chief ROC, which was commissioned by the ROC. A stained glass window commemorating the Corps is situated in the foyer where once stood the ROC Aircraft Model Collection, which is now at RAF Neatishead, Air Defence Museum. The Dowding Room has a number of framed letters from VVIP's commending the Corps for its work during The Battle of Britain.
Former Royal Observer Corps members look forward to seeing the building developed as a memorial to The Battle of Britain.
The above article is taken from the readers page of RAF NEWS November (issue 1,136) an article by Alan Price Talbot (Obs Captain) from Caerphilly/Glamorgan with regards to the future of Bentley Priory. [Roy]
Edited comments from David Watson's email...
I would like to congratulate Alan for his excellent input
and fair comments
which were omitted from the original article October 14th Edit'...
I agree with his comments and the comparison with other landmarks also mentioned by a former RAF pilot who commented on a "what If?" scenario where landmarks such as HMS Victory (with Trafalgar Commemoration just passing) could be put up for sale by the MoD. I'm sure this would cause an even bigger out-cry!
I hope others will agree that the ROC should not be forgotten and that every opportunity be given for the recognition of those who served proudly from the Corp's formation...