Church service and parade commemorates Battle of Britain
PUBLISHED: 06:53 17 September 2018 | UPDATED: 07:16 17 September 2018
Hundreds of people lined the streets of Bury St Edmunds on Sunday to commemorate the Battle of Britain.
After laying a wreath at the war memorial at RAF Honington, RAF personnel will formed the parade in Abbey Gardens before marching to St Mary’s Church – accompanied by the USAF Honor Guard and led by the volunteer band of RAF Honington.
The church service commenced at 11am with the Group Captain David Tait, station commander, making the first address.
The service and parade will commemorate the Second World War battle in which the Royal Air Force defended the United Kingdom against large-scale attacks by Nazi Germany’s air force, the Luftwaffe.
The culmination of the Battle of Britain came on September 15, 1940, when the Luftwaffe launched a daytime raid consisting of 600 fighters and 500 bombers against London.
The RAF responded by sending up 620 fighter aircraft to intercept them, and over the course of the day the skies above London and the south east were filled with dogfighting aircraft.
Following the failure of the raid, and the continued failure of other raids to destroy the RAF or British spirit, Hitler cancelled the planned invasion of Britain and the Luftwaffe stopped carrying out raids during daylight hours.
The Battle of Britain served not only as an example of the importance of airpower in warfare, but also highlighted the important role played in the battle by the members of allied nations.
Pilots who had escaped from Poland, France and Norway joined British and Commonwealth pilots in defending Britain from invasion, as well as beginning the fight back against Germany.