Air Cadets mark the 69th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a parade in Exeter MATT MINSHULL EE200909_MM02_07
AIR Cadets paraded through the city to mark the 69th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
More than 150 cadets from across Devon and Somerset Wing Air Training Corps came together in uniform to remember those who gave their lives in the Battle of Britain.
A service of thanksgiving was held at Southernhay United Reformed Church in Dix’s Field. It was attended by the Lord Lieutenant for Devon Eric Dancer, the Lord Mayor of Exeter, Cllr John Winterbottom and members of the Royal Air Force Association and Royal British Legion.
The service was followed by the parade through the city with the salute being taken at the Guildhall. There was also a wreath laying ceremony and prayers at the County War Memorial on Cathedral Green.
Wing commander Brian Wills-Pope said: “Today is a great opportunity for teenagers to unite with veterans to remember the few that performed in the battle 69 years ago.
“The young people of today have a role to prove their services to the veterans and the service men in action.”
The Cadets that took part came from 29 squadrons across Devon and Somerset. Wing media communications officer Squadron Leader Dave Rolfe said: “The Air Cadets are all volunteers who have a keen interest in aviation and the RAF.
“Cadets enjoy the flying, gliding and citizenship elements of training coupled with the adventure training the corps provides. The Battle of Britain was probably the most significant that the Royal Air Force ever fought, and perhaps the most important battle of the Second World War.
“Without it the outcome of the war would have been very different.”
People gathered on the High Street to cheer on the parade. Mandy Clarke, 50, a nursery assistant from Crediton, came with her partner and mother-in-law.
She said: “I am here to support my 13-year-old daughter.
“She is marching with the squadron from Queen Elizabeth’s Community College in Crediton.
“She really enjoys it and is interested in a career in the Royal Air Force one day.
“It is good to bring the old and young together like this to commemorate the same anniversary.”
Another proud mother was Liz Thompson, 47, an occupational therapist from Ottery St Mary. She was watching her sons Jamie, 17, and Ben , 13, who were marching with the squadron from The King’s School in Ottery St Mary.
Mrs Thompson said: “The parade marks an important day for my sons and I have come here to support them.
“They were excited to take part in the march and learned all about the Battle of Britain. It is important to such events in history.”