On 3rd September, 2017, many gathered once again to pay tribute to Marshal of the Royal Air Force, the Lord Hugh Dowding, architect of deliverance and victory in the Battle of Britain. Lord Dowding was born and grew up in Moffat, and it is here that his life is remembered each year around the time of the Battle of Britain.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, former Chief of the Air Staff, laid a wreath on behalf of the Royal Air Force and gave an impressive speech recalling the impact that Dowding made on the free world. A large number of wreaths were laid in fine weather at the Dowding Memorial in Station Park in front of a considerable number of the general public. Fiona Armstrong, Lord Lieutenant of Dumfriesshire laid a wreath on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. Lord Piers Dowding and Odette, the Lady Dowding, laid wreaths on behalf of the family and the Battle of Britain Association. Kay Hamilton, the Dowager Duchess, laid a wreath on behalf of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. Bob Kemp, former Inspector of the Force, said, “Moffat and Scotland are hugely proud of Lord Dowding. In a poll a few years ago Dowding was voted as the most iconic figure from the Second World War. There is little doubt that Lord Dowding’s plans to have a basic radar and reporting system in place to protect the south east coast and his intransigence against Churchill over allowing too many Spitfires and Hurricanes to deploy to France were pivotal in winning the Battle of Britain”.