Stories

Lost but not forgotten

On schedule, the Kenley Revival website went live in time for the official launch of the project. The search is now on and the word has gone out across the media, online forums and websites for stories and memories of those who served and lived in the area during the Second World War.

If you should know of anyone who might be able to help, then please point them towards the Kenley Revival website at:-

kenleyrevival.org

Now, as the momentum begins to gather, we will be working on the next phase of the project. A video guide to the airfield will be created using drone footage that we will be shooting plus archive material that is currently being researched and compiled.

Much has been written about the few, and of course this project will hopefully capture even more that has hitherto remained unpublished. For now we would like to leave you with the words of  one of the few, a 19 year old American pilot, John Gillespie Magee, Jr. He first joined the Royal Canadian Airforce at the age of 18. Subequently he was posted to an RCAF squadron in England at the height of the Battle of Britain in  June 1941. Shortly after he was inspired to write this poem which he sent to his parents.

Six months later, on 11 December 1941 he met his death while flying his Spitfire.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air… .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr