Battle of Britain and Civic Service Sunday 15th September 2019
The Town Council organised and East Grinstead came together for a Dedication (blessing) of the Sir Archibald McIndoe statue which was unveiled in 2014 by HRH Princess Royal. The Service was opened by the Town Mayor and short speeches followed from Air Commodore Rich Withnall (QHS) who spoke of the modern military hospital work, still drawing from the work of Sir Archibald McIndoe; Squadron Leader Nick Olliver who spoke of the Battle of Britain and the role of the RAF and Tom Cochrane (Consultant Plastic Surgeon to the Guinea Pigs) spoke of the club and its members.
Representatives of the Guinea Pigs were in attendance along with Bob Marchant the Clubs Secretaty.
During an anthem by the St Swithuns Church Choir, Deputy Lieutenant John Williams and Town Mayor Danny Favor placed the final two Lancaster Bombers in to the model airplane display of Lancasters and spitfires, with one single Hurricane. There were 65 models representing 10 Guinea Pigs each, they fluttered in the slight breeze bringing movement to the display. The bright sun casting their shadows on the ground perhaps no dissimilar to the day, 79 years previously.
Following the dedication the Mayor hosted a brief reception at Sackville College and then Chequer Mead showed films and hosted a lecture during the afternoon. The Spitfire Society along with a local group of volunteers had organised this to raise funds for the society and the QVH.
The evening concluded with the Mayors Civic Service at St Swithuns, 143 guests and worshippers attended the service which included a solo from soprano Mervic Monocillo, A collection was taken for the Town Mayors Charities of the EG Streetpastors, EG First Responders and QVH Foundation.