The Project

In May 2010, F/L Alfie Hall visited the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas in England to view the recently re-dedicated Basra Memorial Wall. Like all visitors he was stricken by gravity of the site and walked round as much of it as his time permitted on that. His own 609WR Squadron, had 21 Canadian pilots that served during the Second World War so he asked where the Canadian Memorial was. The answer, unfortunately, was that “there is no monument” furthermore, was no specific RCAF dedicated monument anywhere in the United Kingdom. As soon as he returned to RAF Leeming, he set to establishing a project with the aforementioned aim.


RAF Leeming and RAF Linton on Ouse still survive as operational bases and personnel from these 2 sites joined together to form a project team capable of delivering a suitable Memorial. Support has been forthcoming from Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire, a local authority team that has provided a balance as, although the majority of casualties were from Bomber Command, Canadians served with distinction throughout the Air Forces. The project leader started work with a photographer from RAF Leeming and the 2 conducted a feasibility study considering the possibility of erecting a permanent memorial to all Canadian airmen and women. Once an initial design had been created, these 2 were able to present the concept to key players, initially the NMA and then the respective Station Commanders. This was the beginning of a recurring question that has been present from the very first visit to the NMA “Isn’t there one already?”. This is then followed by an incredible show of support to make sure that this omission is rectified as soon as possible.

The Memorial

Desing of the monument so that it looks like a Canadian Air Force RoundelThe memorial takes the form of a central granite monolith with a Maple Leaf at the top. There are 4 information panels; one on each side of the monolith. Two of the panels will have the poem High Flight (English and French) and the other panels will have an abbreviated history of Canadian military aviation. This is then placed on a maple leaf shaped plinth, surrounded by a stone ring set into the ground surrounding the monolith.  There are a number of finishing options available for the memorial depending on how much money is raised towards it. The Project will dedicate a memorial as described to the left, other finishing options are embellishments of this design.


This is where we plan on erecting the monument at the arboretum.



This is the area in which the monument will be erected.

 

Dedication

In honour of those who serve past and present in Canadian and Commonwealth Air Elements

Meaning and Symbolism

The central monolith is assembled from 3 individual granite blocks that, together, represent the red/white/red of the Canadian Flag as it would drape from a horizontal flag staff. The maple leaf has been an enduring symbol of Canada for over three centuries; most significantly with Canadian military units. The thirteen stone markers represent each of the provinces and territories. While the top of the monument has the modern, stylized maple leaf, each of the stone markers will have the older maple leaf that was used on the RCAF ensign.

Note the use of Red and White Granite in the monument

Historical Inscription

The following history will be inscribed in both official languages on two of the panels:

Its origins springing from Canadian air and ground crew who served with the RFC and RAF in the early days of the First World War, the Royal Canadian Air Force rose to become the fourth largest allied air force by the end of the Second World War.

RCAF personnel and aircraft served in all theatres of operation during the Second World War. Significant amongst the many contributions of the RCAF were the more than 131,000 Commonwealth troops who trained in Canada under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and the 40,000 who served in Bomber Command’s RAF Squadrons – especially the Canadian-manned No. 6 Bomber Group.

The post war RCAF provided frontline support to NATO, NORAD and UN commitments and after its amalgamation with the other two services under the guise of Air Command, continues to serve with these organizations. Since the Second World War, Canadian Air Forces have served combat missions in Korea, Afghanistan and Bosnia, and assisted with humanitarian missions throughout the world. Today, Canada’s Air Force continues the proud tradition established by the RCAF by contributing to essential combat operations in areas of conflict as well as supporting major international humanitarian and peacekeeping activities.

Per Ardua ad Astra

Et puis en francias:

Créée par des équipages d’aéronefs et de personnel de piste canadiens ayant servi avec le RFC et la RAF dès le début de la Première guerre mondiale, l’Aviation royale du Canada est devenue la quatrième force aérienne en importance au monde à la fin de la Seconde guerre mondiale.

Le personnel et les aéronefs de l’Aviation royale canadienne ont servi dans tous les théâtres opérationnels de la Seconde guerre mondiale. Parmi les contributions les plus importantes de l’Aviation royale du Canada, le Plan d'entraînement aérien du Commonwealth britannique a permis à plus de 131 000 membres des forces aériennes du Commonwealth de suivre leur formation aérienne en sol canadien. La participation de plus de 40 000 canadiens ayant servi au sein d’escadrons de la RAF a aussi été des plus notables, en particulier, pour ceux qui ont fait parti du No. 6 Bomber Group, composé presque entièrement de canadiens.

Après la fin de la dernière guerre, l’Aviation royale du Canada a apporté son soutien à l’OTAN, au NORAD et à l’ONU. Suite à son amalgamation avec les deux autres services, sous l’égide du Commandement aérien, elle continue de servir ces organisations. Depuis la Seconde guerre mondiale, la Force aérienne du Canada a vu le combat en Corée, en Afghanistan, et en Bosnie, et a apporté son assistance lors de missions humanitaires à travers le monde. De nos jours, la Force aérienne du Canada maintien avec fierté la tradition établie par l’Aviation royale du Canada en participant aux opérations de combat essentielles dans les zones de conflit et en soutenant les activités humanitaires et de maintien de la paix sur la scène internationale.

Per Ardua ad Astra

This is where the Monument will be located
This is the general location for the placement of the monument and the outer ring.