Posts Tagged ‘fund’

Dambuster’s medal to be sold to fund Africa dam

December 16th, 2015

The young airman never returned, although the story of valour and heroism behind the medal should help raise a huge sum for WaterAid when it is auctioned next week.

David Kirk, of auctioneers Morton & Eden said the lot, which includes a letter from Hopgood’s commander informing his mother of his death, was “undoubtedly” one of the most iconic Distinguished Flying Cross medals to be auctioned in years.

Flight Lieutenant John Vere ‘Hoppy’ Hopgood

He said: “Flight Lieutenant Hopgood’s family has agonized over the decision to part with the medal but feel that John Hopgood himself would approve.

“He was evidently a very thoughtful and idealistic young man who, we believe, would be glad to know that the proceeds from the sale of his medal will go towards the building of a much-needed sand dam to benefit thousands of people in Uganda.

“The new dam will form a fitting memorial to Hopgood’s heroism and self-sacrifice on the Dambusters’ mission, of which his family can be duly proud”.

Thomas Benn, of WaterAid, said: “WaterAid is delighted that the family of Flt Lt John Hopgood will pay tribute to him through supporting our lifesaving work. “

“The new dam will form a fitting memorial to Hopgood’s heroism and self-sacrifice on the Dambusters’ mission, of which his family can be duly proud”

David Kirk, of auctioneers Morton & Eden

Born in the village of Hurst, Berkshire, the pilot was educated at the prestigious Marlborough College, known today as the secondary school of the Duchess of Cambridge and Samantha Cameron.

As war broke out he was due to go to Corpus Christi College Cambridge to read law, but instead joined the Royal Air Force.

Despite his age he became a respected airman for his “considerable courage and cool nerve” while flying perilous sorties behind enemy lines.

He received the Distinguished Flying Cross in October 1942 and a few months later, in January 1943, he received his second award Bar.

Hopgood was selected to fly with 617 Squadron, who on the night of May 16-17 1943, executed Operation Chastise.

As part of Formation No 1 he followed Wing Commander Guy Gibson in a swoop on the Mohne Dam in West Germany.

Despite receiving serious wounds on the approach, the young airman flew low enough over the dam for the “bouncing bomb” to strike and destroy a hydroelectric power station.

Then, in a final act of selfless valour, he manoeuvred his Lancaster to gain enough height for his crewmen to bail out.

Those who survived were decorated and Gibson received the Victoria Cross.

The medal is being sold by his family in an auction on Tuesday December 15 at Morton & Eden Ltd, Nash House, St George Street, London.


World War Two

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Britain revives Margaret Thatcher’s free market fund in struggle against Vladimir Putin

March 20th, 2015

Mr Cameron’s Good Governance Fund opens up a new diplomatic front in Britain’s confrontation with the Kremlin.

The scheme is modelled on Margaret Thatcher’s Know How Fund, which was credited with successfully Westernising the economies of Poland, Czechoslovakia and East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Some £5 million of the £20 million fund, which will count towards Britain’s overseas aid obligation, has already been earmarked for reforming Ukraine. The programmes will work on sectors such as energy, banking and policing and will be run by British government officials and development experts from bodies such as the World Bank.

Margaret Thatcher with Mikhail Gorbachev

The root of the current crisis was the corruption and cronyism of the Yanukovich administration that led to civil unrest in Kiev, only to be exploited by Putin, Britain has assessed.

“We’ve said we would support these countries on a transition to democracy, and it cannot just be words,” said a British official.

“When they are facing some intimidation from Russia, we should be standing alongside them with concrete help.”

Mr Cameron unveiled the proposals over a working dinner of the European Council on Thursday night.

He warned his counterparts not to relax sanctions on Russian officials and businesses until the terms of the Minsk ceasefire are implemented in full, including withdrawing heavy Russian weaponry.

Member states are split on the measures, which are due for renewal in July.

Mr Cameron said the EU must show “intent” to Putin, who is reassuring his allies that restrictions on movement and capital will soon pass.

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He is understood to have ridiculed proposals from Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, for the creation of an European Union army to confront Russia.

“We shouldn’t be indulging in those fantasies when we’ve got a credible strategy weapon in the form of economic sanctions, not soldiers,” said a British official.

Daila Grybauskaite, the Lithuanian president, called for sanctions to be “deepened” in light of the deployment of nuclear armed missiles to the Russian enclave of Kalningrad. It is part of drills ordered by Putin involving thousands of troops, bomber aircraft and warships.

“Look at Kaliningrad”, she said. “Russia has deployed there nuclear missiles ‘Iskander’ that can even reach Berlin.”

Russia was accused of violating the sovereignty of yet another neighbour on Wednesday after President Putin signed a treaty incorporating the breakaway Georgian republic of South Ossetia – a year after annexing Crimea from Ukraine.

Georgia, the EU, and Nato denounced the move which sees the tiny state’s military merged with Russia and the economy placed in the hands of Moscow.

Jens Stoltenberg, Nato’s secretary general, said that the treaty “violates Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and blatantly contradicts the principles of international law”.

Russia gained control over the breakaway region, which split from Georgia in the early 1990s, in the 2008 war.


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