Battle of Britain Week got off to a rousing start in Norwich with a Spitfire taking part in a fly-past above the city centre as crowds gathered below to watch an RAF parade.

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The event featured music from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and a parade by personnel from RAF Marham, while the noon fly-past from the Spitfire added to the sense of occasion.

The week commemorates the pivotal battle which saw the Luftwaffe try to gain air superiority over Britain in 1940.

The Nazi’s failure to do so was a turning point in the Second World War, which helped stop the invasion of the UK.

But it also led to the loss of many British lives, which continue to be remembered today.

The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Ralph Gayton, opened the event and stressed the need to support both serving and former members of the RAF.

He praised the “determination, courage, skill and sacrifice, against the odds”, and added: “It is important that we remember what has happened so that we can face the future with a lot more confidence.”

RAF Marham Group Captain David Cooper said his men and women felt a “huge sense of pride” to have the opportunity to parade in front of the crowds and veterans.

He praised the enthusiasm and support of the public – as well as the number of people who came to Norwich for the parade.

The station commander added: “We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the public.”

One onlooker at the event, Dennis Matthews, 65, said he and his wife always commemorated the week in the city centre and praised the Spitfire’s flight over City Hall.

He said: “Norwich has always supported this and it’s important that we do.”

Norfolk County Council also honoured the servicemen and women at a civic reception.

The chairman of the county council, Ian Monson, stressed how proud the county was of the “long-standing links with the Royal Air Force” and said the reception was to honour the “invaluable contribution made by all the servicemen and women who dedicated their time and efforts, and in many cases gave their lives, for their country”.

RAF Association volunteer, Stan Sayer, 88, from Taverham, was fundraising for the charity which provides care and support for those with connections to the RAF.

He was enlisted in the RAF in 1943, and stressed the importance of remembering the events of 1940 today – adding that more should be taught in schools.

On Sunday, at 11am, there will be a public service at Norwich Cathedral to mark Battle of Britain Week, followed by a march past by personnel from RAF Marham. Lord Mayor Ralph Gayton will take the salute in the cathedral grounds to coincide with a Spitfire flypast at 12.10pm

5 comments

  • Totally agree Pa, I was lucky enough to be in the City at 1200, nothing mentioned about it. Lovely sight though and a good turnout, but who told them about it

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    Ian F

    Monday, September 10, 2012

  • the very same Spitfire also did a fly past above the streets of Kings Lynn before going to Norwich.

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    ggj666

    Monday, September 10, 2012

  • Battle of Britain Week...Poorly publicised once again. From the comfort of my garden I saw the lone Spitfire fly by on it's way to the City Hall. 70 years ago the sky around here was full of them. It would be a nice tribute if next year the rag, tag, and bobtail of aircraft that fly around our airport were encouraged to join in.

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    Pa Snipps

    Monday, September 10, 2012

  • No "Pre Event" publicity from the local media,so I missed out

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    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

  • Battle of Britain....Archant have not put themselves out to report to, and about the City of Norwich, on this Landmark day in our History....So much coverage has been given to men from all parts riding around on bicycles, that things that really matter, to a large number of Norwich citizens,is pushed aside......Ah Well! If things are to be done on the cheap, bring in someone with little or no local knowlrdge or possibly little interest.

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

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