International Bomber Command Centre opens


The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) opened in Lincoln today. This world-class facility will serve as a point for recognition, remembrance and reconciliation for Bomber Command.

During the Second World War, over one million people from 62 nations served as part of Bomber Command – the unit responsible for all RAF bombing activities. Of the 125,000 that served as aircrew, almost 58,000 lost their lives. The controversial nature of their operations, including the bombing of German civilians, meant their stories have remained largely untold. Supported by funding from the National Lottery, IBCC is the first centre nationally and internationally to recognise and provide a comprehensive history of the service of Bomber Command, which has deeps roots to Lincolnshire.

The Memorial Spire is surrounded by the names of every individual who lost their life on Bomber Command during World War II. Interactive displays in the Chadwick Centre share the stories and experiences of air and ground crews, as well as displays which show the scale of bombings across Europe from 1939 to 1945. Named after the designer of the Lancaster bomber aircraft, the centre includes a new education centre, and a contemplative quiet space, along with a café and shop.

Working with the University of Lincoln, the project has preserved over 180,000 documents and recorded over 800 first-hand testimonies from veterans, who are now in their late eighties and nineties. The archive is the most comprehensive Bomber Command archive ever assembled, including many personal documents not previously available to the public.

Funding for the project was raised from private donations and through a range of grant funding bodies including the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Chancellor’s LIBOR Fund, Biffa Awards, Wren FCC Environment, Garfield Weston and the Foyle Foundation.

Photo: courtesy of IBCC