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The Trust is named after Alexander Duckham, who founded Duckham's Motor Oils in 1899. As well as being a successful businessman, Alexander Duckham was an early aviation pioneer and close friend of cross-channel aviator Louis Bleriot.

Duckham generously donated his home, Vanbrugh Castle, to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund for use as a school for boys whose fathers had been killed in the First World War. Vanbrugh Castle was later sold after the number of pupils declined.  On 1 September 1997, The Alexander Duckham Memorial Schools Trust was established by a Charity Commission Scheme.

The Scheme was amended in February 2010 to permit the Trust to promote the education and welfare of RAF children, of any age, in need.

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