The Royal Air Forces Escaping Society Charitable Fund

From 1995 to 1999 the charitable work of the RAFES continued under the guidance of the Trustees of the RAFES Charitable Fund. As of 31st December 1999 the Charitable Fund was closed and saw the final grants made to its beneficiaries - the 'Helpers'.

The Charitable Fund thanks all who have made donations for their long, loyal and generous support of RAFES' charitable cause - the well being and bringing of relief, as necessary, to those Helpers who came to the aid of Allied airmen brought down in occupied territory in WWII.

Since September 1995 the Charitable Fund paid successively increasing grants each year to the many Helpers in need.

The Trustees felt it right and proper that Helpers should enjoy the benefits of the assets of the Charitable Fund.

Therefore, each Helper receiving a grant was sent 1500, being a final distribution, on or before 31st December 1999.

In addition:
  • lump sum grants were made to several charitable/service institutions in Europe, with whom RAFES had enjoyed close friendship and who had very many of the Helpers among their membership
  • in Papua New Guinea 10,000 was sent to a village school that RAFES had liked to regard as 'its school', because of the assistance given by the villagers to stranded Australian and American airmen, affording them shelter from the Japanese.
  • a further gift was made to the RAF Church of St Clement Danes, which has played a part in the history of the RAFES.
  • any cash remaining after the above disposals went to the RAF Benevolent Fund, which had undertaken the accounting functions of the RAFES and the Charitable Fund for the last ten years or so.
The Trustees wrote in November 1999:

"None of this could have been achieved without the wonderful support of our membership and of our many Friends, and we thank you all - each and every one. And so, the 31st December 1999 will be remarkable as we recall with sadness the risks and the suffering endured by our Helpers, and with pride the fact that the Royal Air Forces Escaping Society achieved all of the objects which it set itself 54 years ago."

RAFES' Brompton Road office closed and the files of the Society are now in the keeping of the Imperial War Museum.