Veterans of the Battle will stand proudly to attention once again this Sunday (3 July) as crowds gather to remember those who took part in one of the most important battles fought by this country in the 20th century.
Although the Few are, sadly, becoming fewer, we are hoping three former pilots will be well enough to join us at this year’s Memorial Day parade and service at Capel-le-Ferne.
The clifftop site always welcomes crowds of visitors on Memorial Day, all keen to pay their respects to the RAF heroes who stopped Nazi invasion plans in 1940 by defeating the Luftwaffe in the skies above this part of the world and further afield.
While this year marks the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, it is also the 75th anniversary of the Air Training Corps, and we will be paying our own tribute to an organisation that regularly supports Trust events and will once again be parading, playing music and selling programmes.
While the veterans, all well into their nineties, will be the stars of the show, the guest of honour will be the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, GCB, CBE, ADC.
Another big attraction each year is the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which will, weather permitting, once again be providing a flypast at the start of the service of commemoration at 1.30pm and returning for a short display later in the afternoon.
Guests at the event will include members of a six-strong RAF Air Cadet cross-Channel relay swimming team, one of two that will be attempting the crossing the following week.
The Wing will be open for most of the day but closed briefly while the service itself is held. The event begins at 10.30am with a display by the Kent Wing Air Training Corps Band and there will be more music when the RAF Central Band takes to the central arena at 1.15pm. The day will end with a Sunset ceremony at 4pm.
“Memorial Day is the most important date in our calendar and we are as always looking forward to welcoming a number of the Few, the men who kept this country safe from invasion in 1940,” said Trust chairman Richard Hunting CBE.