The marquees are up, the team is gathering and Capel-le-Ferne is a hive of activity as the Trust, contractors, staff and volunteers pull together to prepare for the highlight of the Trust’s year – our annual Memorial Day.
The Trust is hoping that Wing Cdr Paul Farnes DFM, one of the remaining members of the Few, will be able to attend this colourful day of commemoration, despite being just weeks away from his 101st birthday.
Air Marshal A M Turner CB CBE, Deputy Commander of the Royal Air Force, is this year’s guest of honour at an event that will mark the 79th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain.
Highlights will include an arms drill and a band display byt Kent Wing of the Air Training Corps, while music will be provided by the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. The day will end with a Sunset Ceremony
The display by the RAF Central Band and the flypast by aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (weather and serviceability permitting) are two highlights of the day, while the BBMF’s return to give a display during the afternoon is always eagerly anticipated. Standard bearers from many ex-service organisations will add their usual colourful presence to the event.
This year’s event will mark 25 years since Wing Commander Geoffrey Page – one of the Few and the original driving force behind the National Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne – invited members of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association to the first event of its kind in 1994.
While the first gathering was advertised as being “a very informal affair”, with no budget to provide either seats or portable toilets, 2019’s Memorial Day will be more organised, although remembrance remains at the heart of the day’s parade and service of commemoration.
The shop, cafe and Scramble Experience will all be open for most of the day, adding additional attractions to this day of tribute and remembrance. Gates open at 10am – please park tidily!
Read more about the first Memorial Day in our blog here.