The People’s Mosquito is delighted to announce the further expansion of our global Affiliate programme, with the news that the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) in Lincolnshire has graciously accepted our invitation to join us.
TPM and the IBCC have much in common, not least the desire to honour the men and women who served in Bomber Command throughout World War Two and the post-war years.
For some time, it has been The People’s Mosquito privilege to present honorary lifetime memberships to any former Mosquito aircrew we encounter. By working closely with the IBCC team, we hope to be able to extend this offer to several more veterans over the coming weeks and months. Wherever possible, the collaboration will also enable TPM to share any Mosquito-related materials we encounter for the Centre’s impressive digital archive and growing collection of veteran’s stories.
The addition of the IBCC is a further boost for the Affiliate programme, which recently welcomed several new members including the Australian War Memorial Museum, Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) in New Zealand, and the Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. As an international network of like-minded institutions, most with a strong connection to the de Havilland Mosquito, TPM’s Affiliates help promote greater collaboration, support international research and provides opportunities for cross promotion.
“We are especially proud to welcome the IBCC as a TPM Affiliate,” said John Lilley, Managing Director and Chairman. “The new IBCC memorial and visitor centre is a world-class facility commemorating the sacrifice of thousands of young men and women during some of the world’s darkest days. TPM has no doubt the Centre will play a key role in honouring this legacy and, using new technology, will help to bring Bomber Command’s story to life for a new generation.
John continues: “We were delighted to receive IBCC’s offer of help to identify former Mosquito aircrew – many of whom are already lifetime TPM members and active supporters of our plans to rebuild a Mosquito here in the UK.”
The IBCC at Canwick Hill was officially opened on 12 April, on a cold grey spring morning. But even the weather couldn’t dampen the determined spirits of the hundreds of Bomber Command veterans from all over the world who came to witness the opening, the youngest of whom was 92 years-old.
The Centre’s iconic Memorial Spire dominates the local landscape. Standing 31m (102ft) tall, it is the same height as the wingspan of the Avro Lancaster, and the same width of a Lancaster’s wing at its base. Surrounding the Spire are 23 walls of Corten weathering steel, containing the laser engraved names of nearly 58,000 men and women, from 48 countries, who laid down their lives in Bomber Command service.
Surrounding the Memorial lies the Lincolnshire Peace Garden featuring 27 native Lime trees in honour of Bomber County’s 27 wartime bomber bases.
At the heart of the IBCC is the impressive Chadwick Centre, named in honour of Avro’s Chief Designer, Roy Chadwick, the mastermind behind the Lancaster and Vulcan. The Centre uses interactive displays across three immersive galleries to tell the story of Bomber Command, through the eyes of those of those who were there. It is also home to a vast digital archive and research facility, developed in conjunction with the University of Lincoln.
“As we continue to progress our restoration plans with Retrotec and lay the ground work for a successful UK-build, the addition of the IBCC as an Affiliate conjures up a strong and highly emotive vision. That one day soon, with plenty of support, we’ll see, hear and feel RL249 (G-FBVI) flying over the IBCC Memorial Spire, hopefully tucked in alongside the BBMF’s wonderful Lancaster. There could be no finer tribute to all those commemorated on the Wall of Names.”