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Samizdata quote of the day


This inscription is carved onto the Memorial to those who died serving in Bomber Command during World War II.

The memorial was unveiled by the Queen just under a week ago, on June 28th. It is at Hyde Park Corner, in London, at the western end of Green Park. I photographed it this afternoon.

11 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • bloke in spain

    Thanx Brian. Mum died couple weeks ago. Her brother went down somewhere over Libya. Nav on a Wellington. Never even had a grave. Wish she’d seen that.

  • Paul Marks

    I am not keen on Pericles (to put the matter mildly) – but he did have a way with words.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Not just a way with words, a way with English! Those Greeks really did know everything!

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Speaking as someone who’s actually been shot at in bombers (a blessedly few times), I take my hat off to these Blokes. It’s bad the first time and it only gets worse.

  • Britt

    The £7 million Portland stone memorial also has been given the blessing of the German people, after an inscription was included that commemorates all the lives lost in the bombings of 1939-45.


    Hmmmm. Civility goes too far sometimes, in our oh so enlightened age. I’m reminded of this no doubt apocryphal exchange from air traffic control at the Berlin airport circa 1970.

    Lufthansa (in German): “Ground, what is our start clearance time?”
    Ground (in English): “If you want an answer you must speak in English.”
    Lufthansa (in English): “I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany. Why must I speak English?”
    Unknown voice from another plane (in a British accent): “Because you lost the bloody war!”

  • Rich Rostrom

    I’ll pass this on to my father. Being an American, he was 8th Air Force, not Bomber Command, but he definitely saw the elephant. 30 missions as a B-17 bombardier, including two where he was the lead bombardier for the squadron, and the aiming point was the Fuhrerbunker complex in Berlin.

    But I’ll freely confess my awe at the Bomber Command boys who flew hundreds of missions.

  • Mike James

    More apocrypha:

    Allegedly the German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a short-tempered lot. They, it is alleged, not only expect one to know one’s gate parking location, but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747, call sign Speedbird 206. Speedbird 206: “Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of active runway.” Ground: “Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven.” The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop. Ground: “Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?” Speedbird 206: “Stand by, Ground, I’m looking up our gate location now.” Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): “Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?” Speedbird 206 (coolly): “Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark,…… and I didn’t land.”

  • Oddly enough, I had photographed the exact-same inscription, in the exact-same place the day before.

    Great minds etc…

  • Paul Marks

    Brave American Bishop (I forget his name) to the present Pope…..

    “We have met before”.

    Pope Benedict.

    “I do not think so”.

    American Bishop.

    “Yes we have – i was bombing ….. and you were on the ground trying to shoot me down.”

    Then both men laughed.

    The human condition is stange.

  • Paul Marks

    If anyone wonders about the source of the story….

    I watched the story being told – diectly on EWTN (the Catholic television station).

  • DavidC

    Directly above there is an opening to the sky and the inscription “Per aspera ad astra” which translated from Latin reads “Through adversity to the stars”. I was extremely impressed by the craftsmanship given to the memorial. A list of names of those involved for its construction appears in the outside left wall, and includes the countries of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, France. The architect: Liam O’Connor; sculptor: Philip Jackson; inscriptions: Richard Kindersley; stone contractor: S M Connell and Sons.