St. George’s chapel at Biggin Hill was likely to close its doors forever to visitors due to insufficient funding. The chapel commemorates the RAF spitfire pilots who sacrificed themselves during the Second World War. At the time, the RAF station was located at Biggin Hill. During that time, the Battle of Britain against Germany began, which is considered the biggest air attack that ultimately resulted into the victory of Britain over Germany. In this massive air war, however, Britain lost many of its soldiers. To pay a note of tribute to these these troops, the St. George’s Chapel was built. It is located in the place of the former RAF station at Biggin Hill, Kent. However Biggin Hill Airport stepped in and made available the money needed to keep the chapel open.
This chapel appeared to be designed differently compared to other conventional chapels. The wooden propellers of the Second World War aircrafts are used to make the flooring of the chapel.
Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister, is to remain and serve forever as the permanent shrine of those who lost their lives in the Battle of Britain.
A Battle of Britain historian, Geoff Simpson said, “It’s a very historic place and a very moving place, and it was certainly the hope of Winston Churchill that it should remain forever.”
The Ministry of Defence is now not in a position to spend 50,000 pounds a year to run the chapel. They believe that this investment is not an “appropriate use of defence resources” but are still working hard to preserve the site, The Telegraph reports.
The Secretary of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, Gp Capt Patrick Tootal stated, “If you look at it through the eyes of bean counters, the chapel is not for fighting. I am afraid that the problem is that there is no money for heritage or history. ”
A military historian, Air Cadre Graham Pitchfork said, “It is a memorial to people who gave their life in what most accept was the greatest air battle ever and one that helped keep this country free.”
This year is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. To mark this occasion, the number of visitors may exceed 25,000. To save the chapel, an e-petition on the Government website has been started by Martin Mitchener. At present, this website exceeds more than 11,000 signatures, all of which are in favour of saving the chapel.
Images: THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN LONDON MONUMENT / http://www.bbm.org.uk/BHchapel.htm