RAF Marham to take part in Battle of Britain commemoration in Norwich

Last year's Battle of Britain ceremony at Norwich City Hall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Last year's Battle of Britain ceremony at Norwich City Hall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The heroics of pilots who defended the country during the Battle of Britain will be commemorated with a military parade in Norwich.

Roads close to City Hall will be closed for Monday's commemoration.

It will see personnel from RAF Marham, accompanied by the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment, exercise the base's Freedom of Norwich by parading with bayonets fixed.

All are invited to attend the occasion, which will be hosted by Vaughan Thomas, Lord Mayor of Norwich.

The civic event takes place every year to remember what is often described as a "decisive battle" and "turning point" in World War Two.

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Nearly 3,000 RAF personnel, known as 'The Few' took part in the battle; pilots who were not just British but serving alongside many from other countries such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, South Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, united in their fight against Nazi Germany.

Although other days during the battle saw fiercer fighting and heavier losses, 15 September, 1940 is the only day when two large daylight raids were made on London.

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German intelligence indicated that RAF Fighter Command was on the brink of collapse and it was believed that the raids would provide the knockout blow needed to gain the air superiority sought by Germany's Luftwaffe.

Instead, the raids were convincingly met by the massed fighters of the RAF. The Luftwaffe lost 60 aircraft and morale was badly shaken.

During Monday's commemoration, St Peters Street and Bethel Street, from where it joins St Peters Street up to The Forum car park, will be closed from 7am until 2pm. Access to the car park will be maintained.

City Hall visitors will not be able to use the St Peters Street entrance from 11am until 12.45pm.

They are advised to use the customer centre entrance on Bethel Street between those times.

In the event of severe weather, the marching parade will be cancelled and a small service will take place in St Peter Mancroft.

Next Sunday, (September 15) a public service will take place at Norwich Cathedral, organised by the Royal Air Force Association.

Everyone attending the cathedral service is asked to be seated by 11.15am for an 11.30am start.

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