RAF com­mem­o­rate the Bat­tle of Bri­tain

Ser­vice hon­our those who gave their lives

Go! & Express - - News - THAN­DEKA NTLONTI

THE Royal Air Forces As­so­ci­a­tion com­mem­o­rated the Bat­tle of Bri­tain in East Lon­don re­cently with a ser­vice and a pa­rade.

The ser­vice took place at the East Lon­don East Bank Ceme­tery Com­mon­wealth War Graves. The Royal Air Forces As­so­ci­a­tion (RAF/RAFA) is a mem­ber­ship or­gan­i­sa­tion and regis­tered char­ity that pro­vides wel­fare sup­port to the RAF Fam­ily.

The RAF fam­ily in­cludes all serv­ing and ex-serv­ing per­son­nel and their de­pen­dents. To be el­i­gi­ble for wel­fare sup­port, for both them­selves and those who de­pend upon them, ser­vice per­son­nel need to have served a min­i­mum of one day in the RAF.

The “Bat­tle of Bri­tain Day” is an an­nual com­mem­o­ra­tion on Septem­ber 15 or the Sun­day pre­ced­ing the date. “Our Royal Air Forces As­so­ci­a­tion branch has al­ways marked the day with the pa­rade. Dur­ing World War 2 there were two Air Schools in East Lon­don where air­crew re­cruits from the Bri­tish Isles were trained.

“Dur­ing this train­ing some of th­ese re­cruits died or were killed in air ac­ci­dents and they are buried in the Com­mon­wealth War Graves Plot where our ser­vice is held,” branch chair­man Alan Har­ris said.

The as­so­ci­a­tion ex­ists in the recognition that RAF per­son­nel and their im­me­di­ate fam­i­lies ded­i­cate their lives to their coun­try, and to en­sure that such a sac­ri­fice does not re­sult in suf­fer­ing, poverty or lone­li­ness.

The East Lon­don and Bor­der Branch cel­e­brates its 60th an­niver­sary this year hav­ing been formed in 1947 and con­tin­ues to en­sure that former Royal Air Force mem­bers can meet with like-minded per­sons and where nec­es­sary ad­vise on mem­bers wel­fare needs.

“This com­mem­o­ra­tion re­minds us of one of the sig­nif­i­cant in­ci­dents in his­tory where brave, strong-willed peo­ple re­sisted dom­i­na­tion.

“It also serves to hon­our those peo­ple who gave their lives in this and other bat­tles,” Har­ris said.

The ser­vice was con­ducted by Rev­erend Mickey Webb and the pa­rade was led by the East Lon­don Cale­do­nian Pipe Band and bu­glers Blake van der Kolk and Jor­dan Blun­den ser­e­naded the ser­vice cour­tesy of Sel­borne Col­lege.

Pic­ture: THAN­DEKA NTLONTI

LEST WE FOR­GET: The East Lon­don Cale­do­nian So­ci­ety Pipe Band led the march to the East Lon­don East Bank Ceme­tery’s Com­mon­wealth War Graves for the Bat­tle of Bri­tain Com­mem­o­ra­tion Ser­vice last week Sun­day. The ser­vice in­cluded a medal pa­rade, with the planned fly­past of air­craft can­celled be­cause of weather

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