Thursday 19 April 2012

Britain is a country which said "Happy Birthday" to an old sculptor called Philip Jackson who has cast his tribute to 'Bomber Command'

Philip Jackson, 'Royal Sculptor' to the Queen, whose sculptures have appeared in Britain's cities, 68 years old yesterday. He is, perhaps, best known for his twice life-size bronze statue of the footballer and once England Football Team Captain, the late Bobby Moore, erected outside the main entrance at the new Wembley Stadium in 2007.

Philip's latest commission has been more controversial. He is seen here working on the scale model of his commission to create a bronze memorial to commemorate  the thousands among the 125,000  airmen who served in Bomber Command and the 55,000 who were killed during the Second World War.
Thank you: Members of Bomber Command return from a raid during WWII
Philip Jackson

Why the controversy ?

Night after night, the bombers climbed into their cramped and freezing aircraft to strike at Germany’s cities and factories – the odds on them surviving enemy jets and anti-aircraft guns growing longer with each raid there was, however, widespread unease over the controversial tactic of carpet-bombing German cities which caused up to 600,000 civilian casualties.

The Memorial will be :

opened in Green Park, close to Buckingham Palace by the Queen on June 28 and is seen as a victory for campaigners who blamed Britain's failure to honour members of Bomber Command who lost their lives fighting tyranny on 'political correctness'.

 * partly constructed from sections of melted down aluminium from a Halifax bomber shot down over Belgium in May 1944 killing eight people."

The 'Bee Gees' singer Robin Gibb, a supporter of the campaign to build the Monument  said: "These guys are heroes – they saved the world and they deserve the best."

In 1940, Prime Minister Winston Churchill praised them as Britain's 'salvation'. However, amid public disquiet at the Allied strategy, snubbed Bomber Command in his 1945 Victory broadcast, thanking all other sections of the RAF but them.

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Philip, who was born in Scotland during the Second World War, left school and was a press photographer for a year and then joined a design company as a sculptor. Here is his less controversial work :

Earlier posts where I have dealt with Wartime airmen :
Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Britain is no country for an old Second World War pilot called Eric Carter who wanted to sit in the cockpit of a spitfire

Sunday, 19 September 2010
Battle of Britain pilots, the last of 'The Few', what do you think of the Britain you fought for now ?

Saturday, 21 August 2010
Britain is a country of fewer and fewer old men who, when young, fought in the Royal Airforce against the German Lutwaffe in the Second World War

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