Taken from the RAF News

Stars honour The Few

A TROOP of top stars are coming together this summer for a Royal Gala perforrnance to pay tribute to the men who won the Battle of Britain in 1940.

SUPPORT: Veteran newsman Sir Trevor
McDonald is backing show

Called, Fly with the Stars - A Tribute to the Few, tbe evening of musical nostalgia. -will be held in the presence of HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Patron of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, whiich maintains the National Memorial to The Few at Capel-le-Ferne in Kent.

The show will be produced by Robert Douglas Productions, with Bill Dreamar as director and choreographer and Gareth Valentine as musical director.

Stars who have agreed to appear on the night include: Anton du Beke, Blake, Brian Conley, Robert Hardy, Marilyn Hill Smith, Roy H udd, Celia Imrie Millicent Martin, Alistair McGowan, Sir Trevor McDonald, Robert Meadmore, Julian Ovenden, Chartotte Page, Nicholas Parsons Neil Pearson, Wendi Peters, Su Pollard, Anne Rogers, Donna Steele, Claire Sweeney, Christopher Timothy, Sally Ann Triplett, Bradley Walsh, Honeysuckle Weeks and Shona White.

Supported by the Air Force Board, the show will also feature the CentraJ Band of the RAF.

The Royal Gala will take place 68 years, to the day, after the German Luftwaffe launcned its :first mass attack on London.

It is expected that a number of the men who flew into action to protect Britain in 1940 will be in the audience.

Richard Hunting;.Chairman of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, said: "The National Memorial plays a vital role in ensuring that today's young people and future generations remember the heroism of 1940. We need funds to maintain the memonaf and to develop the site.

"We hope that the historic London Palladium will have a full house of young and old keen to see the stars of today recreate the hits of 1940.

For more details and ticket prices and availability call the box office on 0845 412 4657

With regard to your article on Bentley Priory (RAF News No.1199), it is very sad to see it close but good to hear part will be preserved.

But please, don't refer to the picture bottom left of the article as a decorative stained glass window. It is in fact a memorial to the members of the Royal Observer Corps and their contribution in World War II and the especially the Battle of Britain.

At that time radar could only look out to sea, inland there was too much ground clutter to make it viable. Once the Luftwaffe crossed the coast the only way its direction could be plotted was by groups of Observers in "posts" a few miles apart.

This information was ultimately fed to Bentley Priory (by telephone line) to allow interception by our Spitfires and Hurricanes.

These posts were by necessity in windswept positions that gave a good view for aircraft spotting.

Many at that time were in fact just a telephone post (hence the name) a sometimes a small rudimentary shelter, but always open the elements. They were manned 24 hours a day by ordinary men ( and later some woman) prepared to defend their island.

The Royal Observer Corps then was part of the RAF, but later came under the authority of the Home Office in the Cold war. At stand-down of the Royal Observer Corps in 1991 its headquarters was at Bentley Priory and had been for many years.

This window is in their memory and for the contribution they made.

Flt. Lt. Christopher J Simmons MIMBS RAFVR(T) (Ex Observer 1964-1991), Whitchurch, Shropshire.

David Watson

[24jun08 02:35]