1994. Sculptor: Patricia Finch
Location: Niche on front façade of the Corn Exchange, St Paul'
Glenn Miller (1904-1944) was an outstanding American trombonist and bandleader who came to Bedford in his role as musical director of the American Band of the Supreme Allied Command in 1944 during the Second World War. Many of his concerts were recorded in, and broadcast from, the BBC' s wartime studios in Bedford to American and other allied troops and were seen as being of immense assistance to morale. He also gave a public concert in the Corn Exchange on 11 August 1944, featuring his distinctive ' big band' sound. Following the D-Day landing and the Allied invasion of France, Miller took off on 15 December 1944 from Twinwood airfield in a light aircraft heading for Paris, where he was due to set up concerts for troops. His plane disappeared in bad weather and he was never seen again, lost presumed dead. At the time of the fiftieth anniversary, this bust was commissioned to record the event and, more generally, the wartime presence of huge numbers of American airmen in Bedford and the surrounding villages. There is also a memorial plaque inside the Corn Exchange commemorating Major Miller and his famous band.
Patricia Finch (1921-2000) was a sculptor and medallist. A Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, she was the winner of the Gold Medal for Sculpture in Venice in 1976. She also produced busts of major international rulers such as Colonel Gadhafi, King Hussein and various Arabian sheiks. A number of her works of public art are to be found in London parks, including a Mother and Child sculpture outside Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.
Page last updated: 25th April 2014