Royal Air Forces Escaping Society

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The Royal Air Forces Escaping Society, was a UK-based charitable organization formed in 1946 to provide help to those in the former occupied countries in World War II who put their lives at risk to assist and save members of the "Royal Air Forces" (that is, Air Forces of the British Commonwealth) who were attempting to escape and evade capture.

The society was based at the Duke of York's Headquarters, London and had the Latin motto Solvitur ambulando (solved by walking). It helped the widows, dependents and orphans of those who died and those requiring medical treatment or otherwise in need. It also fostered continued friendship between escapers and evaders and their helpers. Air Chief Marshal Sir Basil Embry was the president of the RAFES from its formation until the 1970s.

The society was disbanded with the laying up of its UK standard in Lincoln Cathedral on 17 September 1995 and the last president was Air Chief Marshal Sir Lewis Hodges. There remains a small Royal Air Forces Escaping Society Museum at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in East Kirkby, near Spilsby, Lincolnshire and commemorative plaques sponsored by the RAFES at several locations including; the Royal Air Force Museum London, St Clement Danes Church and the Musée de l'Armée at the Hôtel des Invalides, Paris. [1]

RAFES memorial in Grenoble, France[2]

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  1. ^ RAFES homepage Retrieved 16.11.2013
  2. ^ Inscription, with translation: "Let us remember those who helped us in our hour of need/Passer-by, remember Doctor Michallon/Under the enemy occupation this eminent surgeon 'Buridan' of the Grésivaudan maquis courageously donated his care not only to maquisards but also to allied airmen who had been shot down and had escaped in the region/This tree was planted to his glorious memory on 28 August 1976/Royal Air Forces Escaping Society"