Came across this in Regent Street the other day. Came to mind when the Prime Minister was sitting behind us in Westminster Abbey today. It is so painfully obvious that she doesn’t have what it would take to put the Great back in Britain. But then neither do Johnson or Corbyn.
As my youngest sister Tessa put it on Facebook: “These three all here even though between them they’ve had a small heart attack, a small stroke and an optic aneurysm in the last few weeks. True grit.”
She is the missing wing woman in the photo: a constant fixture at Battle of Britain of Britain functions in recent years, supporting Tim and jollying along the rest.
Mentioned by several people I spoke to: Nigel Rose, another of the Fewer and Fewer, who died on September 10. [His obituary appeared in The Times on 18 September.] Here is on YouTube on the moment he was hit in his Spitfire. Lovely cooing in the background. Symbolic of what they were trying to protect.
Across this morning to join many members of the family at Westminster Abbey for the 77th Battle of Britain memorial service. Tim was one of four surviving BoB veterans who took part – delightfully receiving a standing ovation at one point.
Fascinating conversations with a range of people, including family members of veterans, young RAF volunteers and even an aviation historian.
BoB veteran Tom Neil, who was in the front row, directly ahead of us in the Abbey, quoted here as saying that he and his comrades in arms (or on wings) were survivors, rather than heroes.
The truth is that they were – and continue to be – both.
As Elaine and I walked back across Parliament Square after the Westminster Abbey Battle of Britain service, we passed a group of conspicuously armed policemen and women. As we were approaching the group, another band of women made a beeline for them – and one of them, an American woman, thanked the police for being there.
The police laughed, in an engaging way, and it struck me how – despite all their defects – we have great people in the police force. As a contrast, I imagined what the response might have been in the USA.
A glorious lunch and walk in Kew Gardens today with our good friend from California, Will Rosenzweig. Some intriguing intergenerational ideas discussed over lunch at The Botanical restaurant. Then hugely enjoyed taking in some of the sculptures that form part of Sculpt at Kew.