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RAF base lit up to mark 80th anniversary of Battle of Britain

PUBLISHED: 20:52 15 September 2020 | UPDATED: 20:52 15 September 2020

RAF Bawdsey, a former radar station in Suffolk, one of two sites where an

RAF Bawdsey, a former radar station in Suffolk, one of two sites where an "emotive" lightshow tribute took place to highlight the achievements of women and other "unsung heroes" during the Battle of Britain, which formed the centre point of 80th anniversary celebrations run by the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund (RAFBF). Picture: Teneo/Oliver Dixon/PA Wire

An “emotive” light show to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the played out in the skies over Great Britain between July and October 1940, on September 15.

RAF Bawdsey, a former radar station in Suffolk, one of two sites where an RAF Bawdsey, a former radar station in Suffolk, one of two sites where an "emotive" lightshow tribute took place to highlight the achievements of women and other "unsung heroes" during the Battle of Britain, which formed the centre point of 80th anniversary celebrations run by the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund (RAFBF). Picture: Teneo/Oliver Dixon/PA Wire

The RAF base, on Suffolk’s east coast, was part of a variety of tributes and commemorations which take place across the UK.

The “emotive” show took place at two sites, RAF Bawdsey, a former radar station, and RAF Buchan in Scotland.

It featured archive footage and photography to “bring to life” the stories of those who served on the ground during the Battle of Britain.

“Bringing attention to those men and women, and particularly women, who served during the Battle of Britain is important for us this year,” said Chris Elliot, controller of the Air Force Benevolent Fund (RAFBF).

RAF Bawdsey, a former radar station in Suffolk, one of two sites where an RAF Bawdsey, a former radar station in Suffolk, one of two sites where an "emotive" lightshow tribute will took place to highlight the achievements of women and other "unsung heroes" during the Battle of Britain, which formed the centre point of 80th anniversary celebrations run by the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund (RAFBF). Picture: Teneo/Oliver Dixon/PA Wire

“The women who served at the RAF airfields were doing it under fire, those airfields were being bombed by the Luftwaffe on a daily basis sometimes.

“So they’re not the heroes that we potentially think about, but these are the people we should be recognising as well, especially on this significant anniversary.”

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The Battle of Britain was a major air campaign fought in the skies over the UK in 1940 and was the first battle in history fought entirely in the air.

The battle saw the British Royal Air Force (RAF) gain a decisive victory over the Luftwaffe in what was Nazi Germany’s largest daylight attack.

Some 1,120 Luftwaffe aircraft were sent to attack London but were repelled by just 630 RAF fighters and two days later Hitler postponed his plans to invade Britain.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The Battle of Britain is one of the nation’s greatest and most important victories.

“For more than 100 years the Royal Air Force has defended the UK, and 80 years ago, alongside our allies, they experienced one of their toughest endeavours.

“This anniversary provides an opportunity for us all to honour those involved and reflect on their bravery and the unimaginable sacrifices they made to ensure freedom for future generations.

“I am incredibly proud of our Greatest Generation and all they achieved in that heroic effort 80 years ago.

“Lest we forget.”


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