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Air Cadets remember the Battle of Britain on anniversary parade

By This is Exeter  |  Posted: September 21, 2009

  • Air Cadets mark the 69th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a parade in Exeter MATT MINSHULL EE200909_MM02_07

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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.”

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    Matt Godfrey, Torquay  |  September 23 2009, 9:05AM

    Im an actual cadet that took part in that parade on sunday. Its an amazing experince to be apart of a massed march past like that and to remember our fallen at the same time, its one of the key aspects as to why i joined the ATC. Granted it was a bit of a problem that the police did little to inform drivers about the parade but i doubt many of the drivers knew what day it was and what it was all about and i belive Battle of Britain day should be recognised more like rememberance sunday. And thankyou to everyone that turned out to cheer on the parade, without you i doubt our ethos and spirits wouldent have been as high as they were. Thankyou.

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    Pleased,but Disgusted, EXETER  |  September 22 2009, 2:07PM

    It is good to see our Youth taking part in a parade to remember those who gave their lives in the "Battle of Britain", however the organisation by the Police was a total joke !. No signs posted warning motorists, and hence the entire Norh Street was full all the way down to as far as St. Davids Hill, with a "Community Policeman"holding all the traffic up at the top of North Street, because" they'll be marching through ... in about 15 minutes" !!!Many drivers were not happy, several were late for appointments, or work ., but "hey" ,do the Police care about that ?. It would have taken a few moments to put a diversion sign up but maybe thats too much like having to work !!!!

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    Scott Stripp, Exeter, St.Thomas  |  September 22 2009, 12:18PM

    With being a Adult Sergeant in 2469 Exeter St.Thomas Squadron, and being associated with the Squadron for almost 10 years, i am proud of all the Air Cadets that turned up, and showed their respect for something that happened along time ago. It is also great to see the Express abd Echo having a full page spread also. So well done E & E, and most importantly, well done Devon and Somerset WIng Air Training Corps

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    giles williams, St Thomas  |  September 22 2009, 9:44AM

    Chris, I don't understand why it matters to you where these cadets are located. All that does matter is that these young people are united together to remember those who fought for our freedom!!! I am glad that the cadets are doing something with their lives instead of sat on street corners.

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    Chris, Heavitree  |  September 22 2009, 7:52AM

    I've contacted both schools mentioned and they know nothing about their pupils being on parade on Sunday afternoon. Begs the question "Where WERE these young people from?"

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    Dave Rolfe, Shepton Mallet  |  September 21 2009, 10:16PM

    Derek,thank you for your kind comments with reference to the cadets of Devon & Somerset Wing ATC.

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    Derek J.W., Pennsylvania Exeter  |  September 21 2009, 4:54PM

    I attended the service of thanks giving at the United Reform Church in Southernhay yesterday and heard an excellent address by the vicar,who covered most aspects of the battle to save this country and democracy. Without their efforts in those early days we should have been quickly over run by the forces of Hitler! It was a pleasure to see the turnout and the discipline of the members of the Air Training Corps and their juniors, the Air Scouts. Let us hope that next year we may see more ex-RAF members in attendance.

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    BBWolfe, Exeter  |  September 21 2009, 4:39PM

    Nigel, the fact that you are able to ask such a facetious question and that the paper is able to print it should leave you in no doubt as to who won the Battle of Britain. I think that maybe you have become confused because every other car on the road nowadays is a BMW or VW, but that is because the Germans and the Japanese won the peace.

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    NIGEL, TOPSHAM ROAD  |  September 21 2009, 2:47PM

    WHO WON ?

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    samantha keen, green gables  |  September 21 2009, 1:58PM

    no need to be like that james i was only asking. and saying the kill ratio dosnt matter well i bet nobody told manfred von richthofen during the 1st world war