WEST DORSET: Lord Julian Fellowes and his wife Lady Emma lent their support to members of RAF Association at a special 'Brew for the Few' event in West Bay.
Every September the association holds its national Wings Appeal to commemorate the Battle of Britain but now there are so few members of the Bridport and Lyme Regis branch able to take on street collections the idea for a Brew for the Few' fundraising tea party in the Salthouse was born.
RAFA member Alan Kidson said: “Because the numbers of branch have diminished so much we are unable to get out on the streets shaking cans but because we still have a few active people we decided to get people in here to raise money for the Wings Appeal instead.”
The much-lauded Oscar-winning writer Lord Fellowes said he and his wife Lady Emma Kitchener, great grand niece of Lord Kitchener were very happy to help, having so many family ties to the forces.
He said: “I think people need to be reminded, and I don't mean in a horrid way, of the sacrifice that was made on their behalf by so many young men and women to protect their historic freedoms.
“I don't think it is a lesson that can ever be over-learned.”
He said the association needed more support than ever, now members were fewer and older.
He added: “Paradoxically as they get older they need more support and more gratitude than ever when the numbers start to thin out and it gets harder to raise money.”
Despite the millions of deaths Lord Fellowes said their sacrifices had not been in vain.
He said: “I think the two wars combined did give us a lasting distaste for the state of war."
“For us as a population war is absolutely the position of last resort."
“If the wars have achieved that then I think they haven't been in vain.”
On show on the day were also scale models of a Spitfire, and First World War aircraft and a Piper Club Grasshopper air observation post carrying D-Day invasion colours.
Flight-related films were also show, including trials of the bouncing bomb tested on the Fleet.