We were pleased to announce this week that the European Union has granted Europe-wide Trade Mark ownership of the title, “The Allied Air Forces Memorial” to the Yorkshire Air Museum here at Elvington.
This official recognition will cement Elvington’s international position and reputation over the last 30 years, clearly distinguishing ourselves from other Memorials in UK and Europe and embracing the wide remit of remembrance that the title suggests. It will help to enhance our already thriving diplomatic relations with many nations, which have been witnessed by the high numbers of senior diplomatic personnel represented at our events over the past few years.
The title can be used by no other organisation within Europe for operation, retail or exhibition purposes.
In November, the new Chief of the French Air Force Général André Lanata agreed to continue the tradition as a Vice President of the Museum/Memorial along with his predecessor, Général Denis Mercier now in his new role as Supreme Allied Commander NATO and the Chief of the RAF, ACM Sir Andrew Pulford.
The Museum/Memorial at former RAF Elvington is the largest original WWll RAF Bomber Command Station open to the public and the sole location of the only French Heavy Bomber Squadrons. It is a Nationally Accredited Museum with 150 staff & volunteers and contains one of the largest collections of aviation related records and artefacts within a new purpose built archive & research centre, which also contains the National Air Gunners and National Air Crew Association Archives.
Collections Manager, Dr John Wright said, “The two national collections represent only about 5% of the total Museum Collection of aviation records spanning over 160 years and including a large portion of the personal records of airmen from many nations who supported or flew with RAF Fighter Command and RAF Bomber Command. Our 12 curatorial assistants maintain and digitize all our records to the latest national standards for the benefit of national and international academic research as well as family enquiries”.
On 21st February the French Government will present a further 10 British WWll veterans with France’s highest honour. The French Defence Attaché, Contre Admiral P. Chevallereu; French Air Attaché, Colonel P. Morand and the French Consul Mr. Jeremy Burton will award the veterans as “Chevalier dans l’ordre de la Legion d’Honneur” at a special ceremony at The Allied Air Forces Memorial, Elvington, bringing the total award presentations at Elvington to 27 veterans.
Museum Director, Ian Reed said, “Europe has officially recognised the important international role which the Museum/Memorial undertakes and endorses the years of work by its legions of supporters and volunteers and the continuing growth of this unique institution”.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of “Welcome to Yorkshire”, said: “This is a significant announcement made by the European Union in giving global recognition for The Allied Air Forces Memorial based at the Yorkshire Air Museum. This will also help raise the profile of such an important national memorial which commemorates the achievements and sacrifice of allied airmen and women in conflicts across the globe.”