Thousands of messages paying tribute to all the men and women who contributed to the outcome of the Battle of Britain have been sealed in a time capsule to mark the 80th anniversary of the battle’s end.
The Royal Air Forces Association, which provides support to the RAF community, invited members of the public to document their gratitude so that future generations could experience the groundswell of appreciation felt by people in 2020.
Almost 6,000 tributes, including some from celebrities, were sent to the charity which then sealed them in a capsule for burial in the Association’s Remembrance Garden at the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire.
The burial ceremony, involving just a handful of people due to COVID-19 restrictions, marked the 80th anniversary of the last daylight raid in the UK by Germany’s Luftwaffe – 31 October 1940.
The tributes inside the Battle of Britain time capsule included many from people whose family members served, and, in some cases, died, in the RAF during the battle. Others were written by serving and former RAF personnel paying tribute to their predecessors, while the majority were from members of the public who simply wanted to thank ‘The Many’ involved.
“Thank you to all the men and women working behind the scenes, and whose role in the Battle of Britain has not always been recognised. And thank you to the crews of Coastal and Bomber Command, including my father, who were taking the fight to the enemy at the same time as the crews of Fighter Command were defending the skies of Britain.”