Object Details

Statue of Douglas Bader

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General Information
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Claypit Lane
Town:Goodwood
Parish:Westhampnett
Council:Chichester District Council
County:West Sussex
Postcode:PO18
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Outside building
Access is:Public
Location note:On grassed area next to the Aeorclub. Goodwood Motor Circuit.
In the AZ book:West Sussex
Page:140
Grid reference:F2
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.

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Makers

Name : Kenneth Potts
     Role:Sculptor

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General Information

Commissioned by: Goodwood Estate owner Lord March.
Construction period:2001
Unveiling date:09/08/2001
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Goodwood Motor Circuit.
Object listing:Not listed
Description:Faces west towards the airfield. Statue of the war hero, Douglas Bader. Figure holds a pipe in the left hand and a flying helmet on the right.
Signatures:Upper surface of the integral bronze base, back of statue, carved letters:
Kenneth Potts 2001
Inscription:Upper surface of the integral bronze base, front of statue, raised letters:

WING COMMANDER DOUGLAS BADER DSO & BAR DFC RAF
FLEW HIS LAST MISSION FROM THIS AIRFIELD 9TH AUGUST 1941

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Classification

Categories:Military, Free Standing, Commemorative, Sculptural
Object type1:Statue
Object type2:Sculpture
Subject type1:Figurative
     Subject subtype1:Standing
Subject type2:Portrait
     Subject subtype1:Standing

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Object Parts

Part 1:Statue with integral base
     Material:Bronze
     Height (cm):208
     Width (cm):122
     Depth (cm):94
Part 2:Base
     Material:Stone
     Height (cm):10
     Width (cm):146
     Depth (cm):120

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Condition 1 of type:Surface
     Condition 1: Biological growth
     Condition 2: Surface spalling, crumbling
     More details:NE corner of base chipped. Biological growth to base.
Date of on-site inspection:13/02/2008

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History

History:Unveiled 9 August 2001 by The Duke of Richmond and Lady Bader .

‘The unveiling took place exactly 60 years to the day after Bader flew from Goodwood, (then known as RAF Westhampnett), on his last wartime mission. Later that morning he was rammed by a German fighter and had to parachute into Northern France, where he was taken prisoner. He spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of war. Douglas Bader was an inspirational leader; he was a charismatic figure who had lost both legs in a flying accident some years before the war; despite this disability, he displayed flying skills and leadership qualities of the highest order, which made him a household name during and after the war. Because of his disability he showed great compassion to others who were disabled, and always did his best to help them in any way he could. He was subsequently knighted for his work with, and for, disabled people. The charity ''The Douglas Bader Foundation'' carries on that work to this day, and was well represented at the unveiling. About 15 of his wartime colleagues also attended with their families. Having served with him as pilots or groundcrew at Westhampnett, Tangmere or Duxford, many hadn't seen each other for nearly sixty years and some had travelled from as far afield as Australia to be present at the unveiling. The statue stands outside the flying school at Goodwood as a permanent tribute and the public are welcome to visit.’
(http://www.goodwood.co.uk/aviation/bader.htm)

'Statue captures the spirit of war hero
A HEREFORDSHIRE sculptor has immortalised war hero Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader in a seven-ft bronze statue - the only one of the legendary pilot ever made, writes HEATH ASTON.
The gutsy Bader is famous for leaving one of his artificial legs behind as he baled out of his plane when shot down over northern France in 1941. Sculptor Kenneth Potts, of Clater Park, near Bringsty, won the commission from the Earl of March of the Goodwood estate in Sussex and has spent the last two years creating a statue of the ace. ''I lived with the sculpture for such a long time and it was exciting to unveil it surrounded by the people who knew him,'' he said. ''It was a proud moment, I felt it was the right size and was happy that his colleagues and Lady Bader were pleased with it, too. I think he would have liked it and that it would have been right for him. ''It was a really exciting project because I had heard the stories about Douglas Bader all my life and here I was getting to know him through his friends, family and colleagues.'' The life-and-a-quarter-size statue, unveiled at the Goodwood estate by Lady Bader, shows Bader, pipe in hand looking at the sky and watching for the weather and returning pilots. ''He had this tremendous charisma and this powerful determination and I tried to capture that,'' said Potts. Lady Bader said: ''It's very good. It captures the spirit of Douglas. He never wanted a statue but now they've done it I think he would be quite pleased.''
(Hereford Times. Thursday 16th Aug 2001.)

‘Memorial to Spitfire ace
When war hero Sir Douglas Bader was once invited to sit for a sculpture he replied in typical stiff upper lip fashion: ''Not bloody likely.'' Yesterday, his widow unveiled a statue to the legendary fighter pilot who went into battle despite having lost both his legs. The bronze memorial was commissioned by the Duke of Richmond whose estate includes Goodwood airfield near Chichester which was known as RAF Westhampnett during the war. The ceremony took place exactly 60 years to the day in 1941 when Sir Douglas took off from the airfield for what was to be his last mission His Spitfire collided with a German fighter plane and he had to bale out leaving one of his artificial legs in the cockpit. He was taken prisoner and the RAF dropped a replacement leg by parachute during another fighter mission. Sir Douglas still refused to give in and, after several escape bids, was sent by his angry captors to Colditz. He died in 1982 and despite his opposition to a statue when he was alive Lady Bader thought he would be happy. She said: ''I think he would be pleased particularly as it is here at Goodwood because he did love the place.'' Sir Douglas, who lost his legs in a flying accident in 1931, fought his way back into the RAF to become a Wing Commander and was stationed at the former fighter station in Tangmere near Chichester which used Westhampnett as its satellite base.
Several men who served with him made a nostalgic trip back to the airfield to watch Lady Bader pull a Union Jack off the statue. Al Westwood, 84, travelled from his home in Zimbabwe to watch the unveiling. He was an engine fitter when Sir Douglas took off for the last time. He said: ''I worked on his plane many times. He was a complex character in many ways but I think of all the people who served here he was the one bloke who deserved a sculpture.'' Air enthusiast Larry McHale dressed up in the type of uniform that Sir Douglas would have worn on August 9 1941 as the sirens sounded and he headed for his Spitfire. He said: ''I think the only difference would have been that while I am wearing flying boots, he would probably have not gone into those because of his legs and would have taken off wearing shoes.'' The Duke told guests that there was no more appropriate place for the sculpture which was the work of Kenneth Potts whose past commissions have included a ceramic Spitfire which stands in Stoke-on-Trent as a memorial to R.J. Mitchell who designed the plane. He added: ''Douglas Bader was a very British hero. He was defiant, single-minded and fought for the things in which he believed.'' Also at the unveiling was David Bickers of the Douglas Bader Foundation which helps amputees. He said: ''The word inspiration seems to occur everywhere people talk about Douglas Bader.''
(Brighton Argus. Friday 10th Aug 2001.)

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References


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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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