Vanbrugh Castle School

Report on the Opening of the School

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Kentish Independent and Kentish Mail February 1922



There was a very pleasant function at Vanbrugh Castle School, Maze Hill, Blackheath, yesterday afternoon. That school was then officially opened by Lady Trenchard who was accompanied by Air Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard, Air Vice-Marshal Sir J.M. Salmond, K.C.B, C.M.G, D.S.O. (chairman of the school), Lord Hugh Cecil, P.C, M.P. (chairman of Executive Committee), Mr. George A. Slimming (controller of the school), and others.

The school is a Royal Air Force Memorial, and is supported by the R.A.F Memorial Fund (offices at Iddesleigh House, Caxton Street, S.W.1). The fund has been established to commemorate the work of the Flying Services during the great war by an organisation which will be a lasting benefit to the officers and men of the force and their dependents whether from the Dominions or the United Kingdom. It is proposed (1) to establish schools or other institutions for the children of airmen, (2) to provide scholarships for the children of officers, and (3) either directly or in cooperation with other organisations, to give help to officers, airmen, and other dependents who are disabled, sick, or otherwise infirm.

Vanbrugh Castle School comes under the first of these categories, and sixteen orphan boys are now cared for. This number, however, is a nucleus, for not only is it hoped to increase the number but to extend the building. After inspecting the building, Lady Trenchard opened the school and was presented with a pretty bouquet by little Benny Frost. Both her Ladyship and Lord Hugh Cecil referred to the great service that the Air Force had rendered to the nation.

The appeal for support for the Royal Air Force Memorial Fund - signed by Prince Albert, Lord Hugh Cecil, Air Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard and Air Vice-Marshal Sir J.M. Salmond - reads as follows :-

"We know that in many hearts, the memory of these services glows unforgettable. To some it is intertwined with the agony of bereavement; to some it speaks of happy friendship and pleasant reminiscence; but by all who endured the anxieties and rejoiced in the glory of the great war, not the least honoured place in the proud and thankful recollection of its chequered days, is given to the skill and nerve of the brave men who now first made war in the unbounded arena of the air, and to the ingenuity and industry of those who rendered that gallant fighting so fruitful to the cause of victory. To all in whose hearts these memories are enshrined we now appeal; to everyone whose heart quickens with pain or pride when he recalls the warfare in the air we turn to ask that these sentiments of patriotism and of affection shall now be shown in a liberality not unworthy of their high temper, and that he will join with us in raising a lasting memorial which shall carry down to a remote posterity the shining tradition of the Royal Air Force in the war, of its fine courage and its great renown".