Battle of Britain commemorated in Prague


On 10 July, on the initiative of the Československé obce legionářské (Czechoslovak Legionaries Association, the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain was commemorated in Prague in a series of four ceremonies.

Dne 10. července se na podnět Československé obce legionářské konaly v Praze čtyři obřady vzpomínkových akcí při příležitosti 75. výročí Letecké bitvy o Británii.

Eighty-eight Czechoslovak pilots fought in this conflict serving in 310 and 312 Sqns. both of which were Czechoslovak Squadrons in the RAF. Others flew in British RAF Squadrons of 1, 17, 19, 43, 46, 56, 85, 111, 238, 245, 253, 501, 601 and 605. Josef František – the most successful Allied pilot in the battle with 17 Luftwaffe planes shot down in a 29 day period – flew with 303 Sqn. which was a Polish Squadron in the RAF. Nine of them were killed during this battle with others being wounded some, like Josef Koukal and František Truhlář being badly burned and facially disfigured.

Osmdesát osm Českoslvenských letců se této bitvy zúčastnili jako příslušníci 310. a 312. Sqdn. a další se zúčastnili bojů v zařazení u 1., 17., 19., 43., 46., 56., 85., 111., 238., 245., 253., 303., 501., 601. a 605. Sqdn. RAF. Josef František – nejúspěšnější spojencký pilot sestřelil u 303. polské Sqdn. (RAF) za 29 dnů 17 letadel Luftwaffe. V Letecké bitvě o Británii 9 československých letců zemřelo a další, jako Josef Koukal a František Truhlář utrpěli těžké popáleniiny velkého rozsahu a znetvoření obličeje.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At 13:00, wreaths were laid by a delegation from the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic and Československé obce legionářské at the memorial to the fallen Czechoslovak airmen 1939 – 1945 at Dejvice, Prague 6.

Ve 13.00 hodin byly v Praze 6, Dejvicích, položeny věnce Ministerstva Obrany České republiky a Československé obce legionářské k Památníku padlých československých letců 1939 – 1945.

The entourage then went to Klárov, Prague 1, where the ceremony continued at 14:00 to place wreaths at the Winged Lion memorial, the only memorial in the world that commemorates all the Czechoslovak men and women who served in the RAF during WW2. Col Andrew Shepherd, Defence Attaché at the British Embassy, Prague, and Euan Edworthy, both of the Winged Lion Project Team, joined the ceremony and also laid wreaths.

Delegace se potom odebrala na Klárov, Praha 1, kde obřad pokračoval ve 14.00 hod. u památníku okřídleného lva, jediného památníku na světě, který připomíná všechny československé muže a ženy, sloužící v průběhu druhé světové války v RAF. Col. Andrew Sepherd, vojenský přidělenec na Britském velvyslanectví v Praze a Euoan Edworthy z projektového realizačního týmu památníku se rovněž zúčastnili obřadu a k památníku položili věnce.

A further ceremony was held at the nearby memorial plaque Air Marshall Karel Janoušek.

Další vzpomínkový obřad se konal nedaleko památníku “Okřídleného lva” u pamětní desky Air Marshalla Karla Janouška.

The final ceremony was held at 15:30 at the Czechoslovak RAF airmen’s memorial at Olšany Cemetery.

Závěrečrný ceremoniál se konal v 15.30 hod. u pomníku Československých letců v RAF na Olšanských hřbitovech.




This entry was posted in 310 Sqd, 312 Sqd, Battle of Britain, Ceremony. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Battle of Britain commemorated in Prague

  1. Gina Hearn says:

    As the daughter of the late Rudolf Poledník, who served in 311 Sqn, and now living in Prague, I too would have attended these ceremonies if I had known about them. Fortunately, though, thanks to this website and the 311 Sqn group on FaceBook, I was able to attend the ceremony at Hradcany.

  2. Jan Pašek says:

    Se zájmem jsem si přečetl článek o oslavách 75.výročí začátku Bitvy o Británii na stránkách FCAFA. Bohužel jsem se oslav neúčastnil i když všechna čtyři místa důvěrně znám a mnohokrát jsem je fotografoval i květinu položil. Proč jsem tam nebyl? Důvod je jednoduchý. Nevěděl jsem to! Velice mě mrzelo když mi kamarádi oznamovali, že se akce konaly a ptali se mě zda jsem tam byl, protože vědí, že si takovéto příležitosti nenechám ujít a já musel odpovídat, že nebyl. Nedokázal jsem říci, že jsem to nevěděl, to by byla pro mne ostuda.

    Jsem samozřejmě moc rád, že se oslavy konaly, ale že to nemělo žádnou publicitu je chyba. Trochu mi to připomíná doby minulé. Mrzí to o to více, že jsem napojen na lidi, které tato tematika také zajímá a něco pro to dělají a také to nevěděli a hlavně, pokud to věděli proč to nedali vědět všem prostřednictvím TV a tisku. Tak doufám, že za pět let, až bude další kulaté výročí již budu moci též položit kytičku. Pokud budu ještě na tomto světě.

    [Moderators translation: I read with great interest on the pages of fcafa the article about the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain. Unfortunately I didn´t take part, even though I know all four locations intimately and took photos of them and even placed a flower many times. Why wasn´t I there? The reason is very simple. I didn´t know about it! I was very sorry when my mates reported, that the events took place and asked me whether I was there, because they knew that I wouldn´t miss such opportunities and I had to reply that I wasn´t. I could not say that I didn´t know about it, that would be a shame for me.

    I am of course very glad, that the commemorations took place, but it is wrong, that there was no publicity. It reminds me a bit of the times (in the) past. I am sorry even more because I am connected to people, who are also interested in this topic and they do something for it and they didn´t know about it either, and most of all if they knew about it, why didn´t they let know everyone about it by means of TV and press. Therefore I hope, that in five years, at the occasion of another round of anniversaries, I will also be able to place a small bouquet. If I am still in this world. ]

  3. Dagmar Johnson - Šišková says:

    I agree with Simon Welling’s comment. The absence of any recognisable public in attendance is obvious from the photographs. Given that not only we remember 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain but also 75rth anniversary of the formation of the 3 of our own squadrons within the RAF, it would surely merit wide & timely publicity. It is a shame as, in my own experience, there are many Czechs who have a keen interest in this part of our history, not to mention the descendants of those men & women who served within the RAF during the WW2, who would like to be part of it.

  4. Simon Welling says:

    Very nice that the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain is commemorated in Prague,; and rightly so as 88 Czechoslovak pilots fought in this critical battle of WW2. One of whom was Sgt Josef František who was the most successful Allied pilot of that Battle whilst another was Sgt Karel Kuttelwascher who was the most successful Czechoslovak fighter pilot of WW2.

    All four locations for these ceremonies were specific to the Czechoslovaks who served in the RAF in WW2 and in public locations; but this begs the question as to why there was no advance publicity to raise public awareness about this worthwhile event so more people could attend and give their support?

    • Zdenek Samek says:

      Good Morning, I have to agree with both of you. It is pity, that this simple information was not possible spread between us who are interesting in this high light part of history of our country. During our small ceremony of unveiling of plaque to E.M.Prchal on 23rd of May 2015 we made announcement as a first here on web and secondary in local newspapers, local government tables and etc. Our small local ceremony attended 100, more or less people and were very welcome by them. We have very positive feedback and during this short period from 23rd of May 2015 we found flowers there and people are stopping and reading. I am sure that this 75th anniversary would have been very well attended if any announcement would have appeared somehow and somewhere……
      Zdenek SAMEK – Club of friends E.M.Prchal

Please leave your comment on this article.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s