REVIVAL saw Lord March pay tribute to the men and women of Sussex who contributed so much during the years of the second world war.
The special track tribute took place yesterday (September 14).
It is now 75 years since the ninth Duke of Richmond – Lord March’s grandfather – gifted the land that is now Goodwood Motor Circuit to the nation for the duration of the conflict. It became RAF Westhampnett, a Spitfire base from which the legendary pilot Sir Douglas Bader flew his final sortie.
More than 100 period vehicles, accompanied by more than 400 re-enacters in period costume took part in a poignant parade that brought home the debt we owe to those who contributed to the war effort.
The Goodwood Revival regularly celebrates the efforts of the armed forces but on this occasion, Lord March underlined the work of all the people of Sussex during the 1939-45 conflict.
He said: “We now celebrate all our forebears from the time. Westhampnett was just one of many sister aerodromes in the county.”
He paid particular attention to the part paid by the county in assisting those who took part in the D-Day Landings, 70 years ago and to the contribution that Goodwood had made on that day in June. 23 veterans of that theatre of war were present at the Revival on Sunday. “We are really honoured that they are here,” said Lord March.
The second world war vehicles then took to the track, machines ranging from an Austin 7 wireless car to an AEC Matador Gun Tractor and a number of Willys Jeeps to a pair of Dodge WC54 ambulances. Motorcycles also took part in the parade with period representatives of such charismatic makes as Matchless, BSA, Norton and Royal Enfield.
They were joined in the skies as two Supermarine Spitfires and a Hawker Hurricane accompanied the world’s only two airworthy Avro Lancaster bombers circling the field that had once served the nation as RAF Westhampnett.