The Granite Memorial
The Bomber Command Museum (formerly the Nanton Lancaster Air Museum) built “Canada’s Bomber Command Memorial” during the summer of 2005 and it was dedicated at a ceremony on August 20, 2005. The Memorial is made of five panels (8′ wide and 4′ high) of 3″ thick, polished, black granite. Four of these each have about 1,600 names engraved per side. The central panel (6′ high and 3′ wide) includes the name and purpose of the Memorial (on both sides) as well as the Bomber Command Crest and a photo of a Canadian Bomber crew. Surrounded by a 5′ sidewalk, the total length of the Memorial is 41′. It has been placed on the front lawn of the Bomber Command Museum.
Clearly national in significance, the Memorial’s 10,673 engraved names includes Canadians from every part of the country.
The bombing offensive carried out by Britain, Canada, and other Commonwealth countries during the Second World War has been described as the most gruelling and continuous operation of war ever waged. The first Canadian to be killed was Sgt. Albert S. Prince, the pilot of a twin-engined Blenheim that was shot down while attacking a battleship the day after war was declared. Almost six years later, F/Sgt. William Holowaty was killed while aboard a Lancaster returning to Canada. Throughout these six long years, Canadians played a critical role in this huge effort that made a significant contribution to victory.
The Bomber Command Museum is the only facility in Canada whose primary goal is to honour those who served with Bomber Command. To this end, the museum created a Memorial that lists the name of every Canadian who was killed while serving with Bomber Command. The Memorial, with the 10,673 engraved names, was dedicated at a special event during August, 2005, the year that marks the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the war.
The List of Names
To be listed on the Memorial the individual must have been killed while serving with a Bomber Command Squadron or while training with a Bomber Command Operational Training Unit or a Bomber Command Heavy Conversion Unit. Individuals are not included if they died in off-duty accidents or due to illness. Individuals included on the Memorial must have been Canadian citizens serving with Bomber Command in any air force or non-Canadians serving with Bomber Command while wearing the uniform of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Individuals are not included if they were serving with units not under the control of Bomber Command (Examples: Coastal Command, Fighter Command, meteorological flights, glider towing, Far East service, etc.).
We make use of W.R. Chorley’s series, “Bomber Command Losses” as a guideline as to whether an individual should be included. We have endeavoured to ensure that our list of names is accurate.
We gratefully acknowledge the invaluable contribution of Les Allison and Harry Hayward in preparing, “They Shall Grow Not Old” as published by the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum. This work provided the foundation for our Memorial. Hugh Halliday generously made extensive information available to us as well.
The Virtual Memorial
Our museum’s website includes a “Virtual Memorial” in which the 10,673 names are listed and may be accessed in different ways. We invite you to view our on-line Memorial.
Established in 1986, the Bomber Command Museum (formerly the Nanton Lancaster Air Museum) has established itself as a national leader in the commemoration of the Canadian contribution to Bomber Command. The museum features two Bomber Command aircraft, numerous training aircraft, and an impressive collection of related artifacts, artwork and associated interpretive displays. Our website, carries our message across the country and around the world.
“The massive achievements of Bomber Command will long be remembered as an example of duty nobly done.”
-Winston S. Churchill