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"Never Forgotten" - Our flagship project commemorating the Czechoslovak war heroes

The Embassy of the Czech Republic in London has the pleasure of introducing our flagship project ‘Never Forgotten’ in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. In the year 2020, Ambassador Libor Sečka aims to visit all military cemeteries and memorials to Czechoslovak airmen and soldiers, who lost their lives during their service in the United Kingdom in the Second World War. The Ambassador will place a flower in memory of the deceased on each of the graves.

This project is done under the auspices of the Czech Minister od Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tomáš Petříček, and the Czech Minister of Defence, Mr. Lubomír Metnar. 

We will invite our other Czech, Slovak and British partners to join the project, such as the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in London, members of the British Parliament, the Czech and Slovak associations from all around the United Kingdom (we especially wish to work with compatriot schools and organisations concerned with the legacy of Czechoslovak war veterans) and local institutions such as city administrations and RAF cadets. The aim of the project is not to be solely focused on the historical background of Czech-British relations but should also serve as a platform to help establish new potential partnerships outside of London. Amongst other things, we are looking to promote the regional dimension of our bilateral relations.

Today, in the United Kingdom, there are 127 cemeteries where Czechoslovak soldiers are buried or memorials placed commemorating their legacy. We are primarily relying on the data collected and provided by the Czech Ministry of Defence (see link HERE) on the location of these places. We will map and document their current state and the gathered information will be used to create a list to be brought to the attention of the Czech Ministry of Defence in terms of future repairs or upkeep. Throughout the period of the project, the Ambassador will record how he felt when laying the flowers at the graves and what impressions the individual regions of the United Kingdom made on him.

The Defence Attaché of the Czech Embassy, Colonel Jiří Niedoba, is responsible for a great share of the project’s organisation. We would also like to thank to Mr. Tom Doležal, the representative of the ‘Free Czechoslovak Air Force Associates, ltd.’ whose notes were used to complete the list of all places to visit.

Many Czechs and Slovaks went abroad to fight for their homeland during the 1938-1945 occupation of Czechoslovakia, with several thousands (cca. 6,500) serving in the United Kingdom. These people usually served as airmen, parachutists or members of the armoured brigade. Some became very famous, such as the RAF fighter pilot ace, Karel Kuttelwascher, to name just one hero. The Embassy of the Czech Republic in London has maintained its relations with many families of veterans, who decided to remain in the United Kingdom after the war due to either personal or political reasons. We immensely value their bravery and legacy and thank them for their service to their homeland.

We hope that this project, which goes beyond the May celebrations of the end of the Second World War in Europe, will remind everyone of the legacy of all Czechoslovak heroes in the United Kingdom, especially those who gave up their lives for the freedom of their nation, Europe and the World as a whole.

May they rest in peace!

To see the notes written by Ambassador Sečka from his "Never Forgotten" trips across the UK, please follow this link. 

Line-up of the first Czechoslovak battalion in Cholmondeley

Line-up of the first Czechoslovak battalion in Cholmondeley


Honorary guard of the Czechoslovak artillery banner

Honorary guard of the Czechoslovak artillery banner