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Hundreds lined the streets for Battle of Britain parade

PUBLISHED: 18:54 10 September 2018 | UPDATED: 19:24 10 September 2018

Battle of Britain ceremony at Norwich City Hall.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Battle of Britain ceremony at Norwich City Hall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

Crowds of veterans, families and children lined the streets in Norwich city centre for an event commemorating the Battle of Britain.

Crowds of veterans, families and children lined the streets in Norwich city centre for an event commemorating the Battle of Britain.

Hundreds joined personnel from RAF Marham and their music service to commemorate the Battle of Britain outside City Hall on Monday.

Group captain and Marham station commander Cab Townsend said: “This is the RAF’s battle and it’s incredibly important to celebrate it.

“This was a pivotal moment in the UK’s history, without the RAF we wouldn’t have the freedoms that we enjoy today.”

Battle of Britain ceremony at Norwich City Hall.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYBattle of Britain ceremony at Norwich City Hall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The RAF were exercising their Freedom of the City of Norwich, an ancient honour which allows them to march through the city with drums beating and colours flying.

Lord Mayor of Norwich Martin Schmierer said: “It means they are able to celebrate with the people of Norwich.

“RAF Marham is a particularly important base in Norfolk, so it’s only right that the capital of Norfolk celebrates their contribution.”

The event, which marks the centenary year for the RAF, also runs alongside Wings Week, an annual fundraising campaign which raises around £1.8m every year.

Battle of Britain ceremony at Norwich City Hall.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYBattle of Britain ceremony at Norwich City Hall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mr Townsend said: “I always quite enjoy doing the inspection with Bon Jovi, Living on a Prayer, in the background, it just shows [the band’s] versatility and their talent as a band.”

Music included traditional RAF songs along with sounds from Rocky, The Greatest Showman and Bon Jovi.

While the focus was around the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, which ran from July 10, 1940, to October 31, 1940, the event saw fundraisers encouraging people to donate.

But there was no flypast this year, with RAF Tornados overseas in Syria and elsewhere.

Battle of Britain ceremony at Norwich City Hall.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYBattle of Britain ceremony at Norwich City Hall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Lord Mayor said: “It’s been a very popular event since I’ve been here, unfortunately we didn’t have the flypast today.”

There will be a service on Sunday, September 16 at Norwich Cathedral to commemorate the Battle of Britain.

To find out more about Wings Week visit www.rafa.org.uk/get-involved/fundraise-for-us/wings-week/

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