Dovetail Games is pleased to announce we are helping to sponsor the RAF Benevolent Fund’s VE ay 70 Charity Motorcycle Ride. The RAF Benevolent Fund’s Peter Stowage provided the following information about the event:
Recently, we gave a memorial to the 55,000 members of bomber command who gave their lives during World War II, but many members of those days survived and still live. Many who have served, were in all theatres of conflict while in the RAF, now some need assistance whether it be financial , medical or accommodation, in making this ride we as a team, hope to raise £20,000 to assist the RAF Benevolent Fund to look after those personnel.
The ride will visit many sites associated with the RAF, but mainly visiting today’s operational stations and those memorial’s commemorating actions during WWII. By visiting RAF Cranwell, we pay homage to the home of pilot officer training, then RAF Valley the home of operational training, through to current operational squadrons.
We will also visit long closed RAF stations such as RAF Waltham, a former base of my father’s squadron during WW11.
Before leaving the UK we will also be visiting such iconic airfields as Biggin Hill and Kenley so important during the Battle of Britain in 1940, then paying our respects at the Capel-Le-Fern Battle of Britain memorial in Kent. During our journey within the UK we will also be paying our respects to the United States of America’s contribution during WWII by visiting the USAF Memorial in Cambridge and a former 8th Air Force base, during the conflict they lost in excess of 26,000 airmen in the fight for Europe.
We then pass over to Europe to visit the beaches of Dunkirk. This little fishing village on the French coast will forever be remembered when the history of World War II is spoken of. The RAF, with a depleted force, attempted to protect the soldiers on the beach against terrible odds as they defended, as best they could in a foreign land, despite heavy losses. Nearly 350,000 soldiers returned to the UK. We then move on to Belgium Air Force base at Kleine Brogal, formally an RAF base before being taken over by the Luftwaffe, then used as a forward base for Operation Market Garden 1944.
The team will then ride onto Arnhem, where in Sept 1944 RAF transport command airlifted the British and Polish contingent of Operation Market Garden and paid a heavy price in the attempt to end the war by the end of 1944..
From here we visit Wewlesburg Castle, the training centre for the SS and Himmler’s spiritual home and centre of the Third Reich’s power during the war. We then proceed to Colditz castle, the former home to many RAF officers during while being Prisoners of War, including Squadron Leader Douglas Bader.
From here we travel to Berlin. where in 1948 the RAF kept Berliners alive during the Berlin airlift, which stopped them from starving and fighting the Cold War without firing a shot., If Berlin had fallen then who knows how history would be re-written.
Then, to coincide with the 70th anniversary on 8th May 2015, we will be on the spot where Germany surrendered on Lungderburg Heath, central Germany, to commemorate VE DAY- where would be more appropriate than here?
Now we begin our journey back, visiting the Manner area of Rotterdam, where in May 1945 aircraft of bomber command dropped food supplies to the starving inhabitants of the Netherlands, as this was still under German occupation. Aircraft flew at rooftop height over guns still manned by German troops, to drop food in designated areas, knowing that no surrender had yet been signed and they were still targets..
Our final day will be the team will travel from Dunkirk to Dover recreating Operation Dynomo and finishing outside the Harley Davidson dealer of Laguna Motorcycles in Maidstone.
The ride being completed, one of the bikes, the Triumph Steve McQueen replica donated by Lord Digby Jones, will be handed over to the Afghanistan Trust. The bike will be sold to raise further funding for the Trust.
Our intention is to raise £20,000 through this ride, not only helping former service personnel, but also to honour those who are no longer with us.
The VE at 70 Motorcycle Ride will culminate on Sunday 10th May at Harley Davidson in Maidstone. Come on by and say hi!