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Evening Meeting With Amanda Mckean, Director Canterbury Festival

30th April 2024
Venue: Cricket Ground

Evening meeting with Amanda McKean, Director, Canterbury Festival.
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Lunchtime Meeting Agm & May Business Meeting

7th May 2024
Venue: Cricket Ground
Lunchtime meeting 12.30pm for 1pm meal Annual General Meeting to be followed by the May Business Meeting.
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Evening talk: Fred Ross – Hill 112 Foundation

We were delighted to welcome the Chair of trustees for The Hill 112 Memorial Foundation, Mr Fred Ross, to our meeting; he gave a touching & heartfelt précis of the Memorial’s creation & the subsequent founding of the charity to maintain it for the future.

According to the Foundation’s website, “The scene of one of the bloodiest battles of World War Two, Hill 112 is now a place of calm reflection and remembrance. It has been christened The Hill of Peace following the untiring efforts of Sergeant Gunner Albert Figg, his daughter Annette and The Hill 112 Memorial Foundation.”

Mr Ross told us that Mr Figg was present at the battle in 1944; he served with the Royal Artillery in the 43rd Wessex Division. The fight was a tough one, and the hill strategically important to open up the way to the city of Caen. So important was this hill, that Field Marshall Rommel remarked: “He who controls Hill 112, controls Normandy”.

With a vital strategic importance, the German defenders took no chances and placed elite soldiers in defence of the hill. The British faced six fanatical SS Panzer Divisions during 10 weeks of fighting. So bloody was the fighting that British casualties numbered 7000. It was the loss of 7000 comrades that so motivated Mr Figg to create a lasting memorial to the bravery and sacrifice of his brothers-in-arms.

Mr Ross came to life especially when he spoke of his friend Mr Figg, who upon their first meeting pressed Mr Ross into service as his personal assistant in his memorial project.

Albert Figg came across as a truly remarkable man, a forceful, charismatic visionary who was determined to honour his fallen comrades and ensure the battle was remembered. In fact, so motivated and charismatic was Mr Figg, that the statue and trees in place at the memorial were gifted entirely and no payment was taken. The companies in question couldn’t bring themselves to take money from Mr Figg!

Mr Ross outlined the charity’s future plans and their upcoming fundraising events. The Memorial – post COVID – is in need of some tender loving care, and funds are required to realise this.

Albert Figg would undoubtedly be proud of Mr Ross’s continued efforts. Rotarians were enthralled by his presentation and video. A memorable evening. 

To find out more about The Hill 112 Memorial, click here

Picture: Landing craft. Image by WikiImages from Pixabay 

With thanks to Rtn Crispin Rampling for writing this article.

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Canterbury, Kent,
CT1 3NZ,
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