Dame Judi Dench has agreed to become a Patron of the ‘Bomber Command Upkeep Club’, in order to help honour the bravery of the Bomber Command and the sacrifice of the 55,573 men who gave their lives for the freedom of others.

Launched by the RAF Benevolent Fund, the club is named after Barnes Wallis’ famous bouncing bomb, “Upkeep”, used in the great Dambuster Raid of May 1943.

Dame Judi Dench visits the Bomber Command Memorial in London
Dame Judi Dench visits the Bomber Command Memorial in London

Dame Judi Dench said: "I am delighted to become a Patron of the Upkeep Club. The Bomber Command Memorial, which so nobly honours the sacrifice of the fallen aircrew, has already become a place of pilgrimage for relatives and former acquaintances of the ‘Bomber Boys’ lost during the Second World War.

“Veterans and widows, often having travelled thousands of miles, are reminded of treasured friendships and past romance, so prematurely ended, so fondly recalled. Through membership of the Upkeep Club, people can directly support the commemoration of those who died for our individual and national freedoms.”

Air Marshal Chris Nickols, Controller of the RAF Benevolent Fund said: “As the proud guardian of the Bomber Command Memorial, the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund is committed to ensuring that the remarkable bravery and sacrifice of the young aircrew, who gave their lives defending our freedom during the Second World War, will always be remembered. To this end, we need to raise £1.5 million to ensure that the Memorial can be preserved for future generations. We’re delighted to announce that Dame Judi Dench has agreed to become a Patron of the Bomber Command Memorial Upkeep Club and we hope it inspires many more to join.”

To learn more about how you can help, visit the Upkeep Club webpage.

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