The Winged Lion Memorial (in Czech: Památník Okřídleného lva) was unveiled at Klárov in Prague (by the British Member of Parliament, Sir Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Sir Winston Churchill) on 17 June 2014. It is dedicated to the Czechoslovak airmen who served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during World War II and who achieved acclaim for their contribution to the Battle of Britain. The two metre high Winged Lion is the work of the contemporary acclaimed British sculptor Colin Spofforth.
The Lion was cast in bronze at the artistic foundry in Horní Kalná, Podkrkonoší. The Lion is placed on a concrete plinth covered by Czech granite. When viewed from above, the circular pedestal resembles the insignia of the Czech Air Force. The plinth side coverings with rivets replicate the fuselage surface of an aircraft. About 99% of the funds raised (about three million Czech crowns) were donated by the British community in the Czech and Slovak Republics. Donations from Czech citizens, businesses and individuals were also received.
The origins of the monument are credited to Mr. Euan Edworthy, who has lived in the Czech Republic for many years and whose father served in the Royal Air Force and Colonel Andrew Shepherd, UK Defence Attache. The unveiling ceremony at Klárov was accompanied by music performed by the Royal Air Force College band and by the Pipes and Drums of the Queen’s Royal Hussars. The event was attended by nine former Czechoslovak RAF members. Immediately following the unveiling of the memorial a legendary aircraft Spitfire, in the livery of Squadron Leader Otto Smik DFC, made a flypast over Prague.
Inscribed on the Winged Lion Monument is: This monument is an expression of the British Community’s lasting gratitude to the 2,500 Czechoslovak airmen who served with the Royal Air Force between 1940 and 1945 for the freedom of Europe. Many were subsequently persecuted by the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.