Tributes to Holt MBE William Bond who founded the Battle of Britain Society and campaigned to memorialise ‘The Few’
PUBLISHED: 17:15 18 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:29 23 August 2017
Tributes have been paid to a man from Holt who was made an MBE for his work memorialising the pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain.
William Bond, who was known to his family and friends as Bill, passed away peacefully on July 29, aged 76, after a short illness.
Mr Bond founded the Battle of Britain Historical Society in 1997. He was made an MBE a decade later, after his success in petitioning for a monument to ‘The Few’ to be erected in London.
Mr Bond was born in 1940, on September 4, and spent his early years in Preston. He joined the RAF as a young man, and was stationed in Germany and Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon.
He met his wife, Kate, at a ball at RAF Coltishall. The couple were married in 1967, and had their son, Peter, a year later. Their daughter Julie was born in 1971.
Mr Bond was a keen cricketer, and had a successful trial for Essex county cricket club, but never took up the place. However, his biggest passion in life was his work memorialising the Battle of Britain pilots. He founded the Battle of Britain Historical Society in 1997, and in 2005, a monument dedicated to them was unveiled in London, attended by the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall.
And this wasn’t Mr Bond’s only royal engagement, as he was invited to Buckingham Palace in 2007, to be presented with an MBE in 2007 by the Queen.
Mr Bond described the moment he: “overheard a conversation between two RAF officers, and was horrified at their lack of knowledge regarding the meaning of the Battle of Britain”.
He stated that the monument was to: “ensure that the memory of The Few lives on”.
Mr Bond’s daughter said: “It was something dad really believed in, and thought was right. He was very pleased with the monument.”
Andy Larkin, a photographer and friend of Mr Bond, said: “Bill often used to say that people forget how important the Battle of Britain was in securing the future of Britain and the world.
“To him it was a massively important point in World War Two that changed history and reversed fortune.”
The funeral will be held at St Faith’s crematorium today. Mr Bond was very fond of animals, and supported several local animal charities. His family have requested that any donations in his name be made to Hillside Animal Sanctuary.