Remembering History at The International Bomber Command Centre


Monday 04 March 2024

Here at the White Hart, we’re big advocates for local history. As well as the Tank Room being named after the location where the original design for the modern tank was conceived, we pay tribute to aeronautical history throughout the hotel. This can most prominently be seen in the Gibson Bar, which is named after Guy Gibson, the distinguished second world war commanding officer of 617 Squadron, better known as the Dambusters.

If you’re staying at the hotel, we absolutely recommend a visit to the International Bomber Command Centre on the city’s outskirts. 

Nestled on a serene hillside overlooking the city, the IBCC is a poignant memorial and educational institution dedicated to preserving the memory of the brave men and women who served in Bomber Command during the Second World War.

Bomber Command was a vital component of the Allied war effort during World War II. Established in 1936, it was responsible for the operation of the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany. 

Under the leadership of Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, Bomber Command executed a relentless campaign of aerial bombardment targeting German industrial and military installations. The primary objective was to disrupt enemy production capabilities, weaken morale, and pave the way for the Allied invasion of Europe.

The men and women who served in Bomber Command flew perilous missions deep into enemy territory, facing treacherous weather, flak, and enemy fighter aircraft. Their bravery was undeniable, as they endured some of the harshest conditions and extreme risks in the history of aerial warfare. However, this heroism came at a tremendous cost, with a significant portion of the bomber crews losing their lives during their missions.

Opened in January 2018, the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln serves as a lasting tribute to the sacrifices and achievements of Bomber Command. This remarkable institution comprises several key components, each contributing to its mission of remembrance, education, and reconciliation:

The Chadwick Centre: Named in honour of Roy Chadwick, designer of the Avro Lancaster Bomber, this visitor centre offers a rich and immersive experience for visitors. It houses interactive exhibitions, personal stories, and artefacts from the war, providing a deep insight into the life and experiences of the men and women of Bomber Command.

The Peace Gardens: These beautifully landscaped gardens surround the Chadwick Centre and offer a tranquil space for reflection and contemplation. The centrepiece of the Peace Gardens is the “Reflection Spire,” which stands as a symbol of remembrance for those who gave their lives during the war.

The Walls of Names: One of the most moving features of the IBCC is the Walls of Names, where over 58,000 individual names of Bomber Command personnel who perished during the war are inscribed. This profound tribute ensures that each sacrifice is remembered and honoured.

The Digital Archive: The IBCC maintains a comprehensive digital archive, preserving photographs, documents, and personal stories related to Bomber Command. Researchers, historians, and families of those who served can access this invaluable resource.

Educational Outreach: The IBCC places a strong emphasis on education and outreach. It offers educational programs for schools and colleges, ensuring that future generations understand the importance of Bomber Command’s contribution to history.

The International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln stands as a powerful testament to the courage and sacrifice of those who served in Bomber Command during World War II. Its mission to remember, educate, and reconcile is not only a tribute to the past but also a commitment to ensuring that the lessons learned from history are never forgotten. 

As visitors explore the exhibits, stroll through the Peace Gardens, and gaze upon the Walls of Names, they are reminded of the extraordinary sacrifices made by these heroes and the enduring legacy of their service. 

The IBCC is a place of remembrance and reflection, where the stories of Bomber Command come alive, and the memory of their dedication to freedom lives on.

For more information, visit the IBCC website. 

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