December 7 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 16, 2013
The Royal Air Force flag flew once again at the site of RAF Coltishall yesterday as part of the county’s Battle of Britain commemorations.
The last time the flag had been lowered at the former airbase was when it closed in November 2006 after 66 years in service.
Yesterday – in tribute to all those who served at RAF Coltishall and bravely fought the German Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain of 1940 – the RAF ensign was raised once again.
As evening began to fall scores of people, including many who had served at the base, gathered for a special flag-lowering ceremony.
Standard bearers stood by the flagpole as the Rev Elizabeth Bailey, chaplain of the Spirit of Coltishall Association, led a short service. At 6pm the RAF ensign and standards were lowered, and a bugler played The Last Post.
Afterwards George Nobbs, leader of Norfolk County Council, which now owns the site, spoke of remembering all the young people that served at RAF Coltishall, during the Battle of Britain, as well as the whole of the Second World War, and the 60 subsequent years.
He added that the end of the Battle of Britain commemorations this year came as the council’s public consultation on the future of the air base was drawing to a close.
About the future of the site, he said: “Whatever we do, it will be something worthy of all the people who served here in the 66 years.”
The Spirit of Coltishall Association organised yesterday’s flag-raising and lowering ceremony.
The organisation’s chairman, Dave Welsh, said it planned to repeat the ceremony each year to honour those who fought and the history of the Battle of Britain RAF station. “It’s another step in history, another marker, because when RAF Coltishall closed in 2006 everyone thought that was it, it was gone,” he added.
Norwich Cathedral also hosted its own Battle of Britain service yesterday morning to remember those who fought in what became a crucial turning point in the Second World War.