RAF News

Remembrance 2021

The Queen Colour Squadron hold rifles and march past the Cenataph.
The RAF Queen’s Colour Squadron provided the honour guard at the foot of the Cenotaph.

With Remembrance 2021 drawing to a close, the RAF reflect on this poignant period in memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for the way we live today.

"Remembrance is a significant time where we reflect on the sacrifices made by those before us.  An essential moment to commemorate those who died in the service of their country, to protect the freedom we continue to benefit from today.  This year I will be wearing the Poppy to remember courageous individuals, such as Aircraftman 1st Class Basil Norman Blades, who died 82 years ago on 10th October 1939 at the young age of only 19 years."

Cadet Warrant Officer Morganti
RAF Air Cadets

611 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force and Reverend Flight Lieutenant Mandeep Kaur, Part-Time Reservist and the only Sikh Chaplain in the UK Armed Forces, attended the annual Tri-Service Remembrance commemoration at the Anglican Cathedral of Liverpool.  However, this year came with some confusion.

Personnel outside Cathedral.
The 611 Squadron contingent with Reverend Flight Lieutenant Kaur, in front of Liverpool Cathedral prior to the parade.

Initial reports of multiple explosions were confused with the firing of the 105mm Light Gun, signifying the start and end of the 2 minutes silence.  With nearly 2000 people in attendance, the Police and Parade Commander performed well to reorganise the contingent; 611 Squadron marched as planned, led by Reverend Flight Lieutenant Kaur, albeit on a shorter route.

Liverpool City Council’s tweeted about the event and shared the Service video for all to watch.

Members from the Royal Family joined the Prime Minister and over 700 personnel of the Armed Forces, at the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Westminster. 

View over the Cenotaph during parade.

The National President of the Royal British Legion and former British Army Officer, Lieutenant General James Ian Bashall was also in attendance.  This year marks the centenary of the Royal British Legion, a charity doing amazing work to support Veterans with generous donations from the annual Poppy Appeal.

Personnel lay Poppy Wreaths at the Cenotaph.
Poppy wreaths were laid by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Sir Marshal Mike Wigston; the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter; First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral, Sir Ben Key; and the Chief of the General Staff General, Sir Mark Carleton-Smith.

Nearby to Westminster Abbey is the Field of Remembrance; a memorial garden for those who lost their lives in service.  Touching tributes are planted in the ground with personalised messages for fallen forebears, colleagues and friends.

Hundreds of Poppy's and messages on Remembrance crosses in the ground.

Corporal McCarthy from St Clement Dane's Church performed a beautiful piano version of the Last Post, arranged by Miles Nottage Music.  The touching tribute can be seen on the RAF Music Facebook page.

Piano being played by Corporal McCarthy..

34 Squadron RAF Regiment paraded around the town of Richmond, in North Yorkshire.  They were joined by members of the 5 Armoured Medical Regiment and The Royal Lancers, both based out of the nearby garrison town of Catterick, North Yorkshire.

34 Squadron RAF Regiment join members of the Army during parade through the street.
The parade through the town of Richmond, in North Yorkshire.

Personnel marched to the service at St Mary’s church from the Market Square, and then to Friary Gardens where the wreaths were laid at the Cenotaph.  An additional service was later held at the Green Howards Memorial.

Personnel during Remembrance Service.

RAF personnel from around the world also joined in Remembrance Services, pausing and laying Poppy Wreaths from their own countries in memory of those who served to defend our way of life today.

In Oman, over 300 RAF personnel deployed on Exercise MAGIC CARPET at the Air Exercise area in Dhofar Governorate, attended a ceremony with RAF Deputy Commander Operations, Air Marshal Gerry Mayhew CBE.

Personnel stand in tent with Poppy Wreaths.
Personnel in Oman, with Air Marshal Gerry Mayhew.

In Germany, Military personnel based at Headquarters Allied Air Command at Ramstein Air Base marked Remembrance Day with a multinational parade.  

Personnel standing outside Headquarters.
Personnel at the Ramstein Air Base during their multinational parade.  

In Cyprus, personnel from RAF Akrotiri held their annual Remembrance Ceremony at the Saint Paul’s Church.

More about how RAF personnel around the world paused to remember can be read here.

Personnel and family sit in the audience, with Chaplain leading.
The Remembrance Ceremony at RAF Akrotiri.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight released a video with a poignant poem read by World War II pilot, Squadron Leader Lawrence ‘Benny’ Goodman, who sadly passed earlier this year.  A video of the poem reading can be viewed on the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Facebook page.

Benny holds a model of a Spitfire.

On Saturday 13th November, BBC One showed The Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance, attended by members of the Armed Forces at the Royal Albert Hall.  The event celebrated all those who have contributed to the last 100 years and the importance of how we must continue to remember in the coming 100 years.

Audience gathered in the Royal Albert Hall; with lights and holographic Poppy's.

Throughout the month, RAF personnel visited Birmingham and Leeds for the annual City Poppy Days.  Donations from bucket collections and selling Poppy's to the public raised funds for the Royal British Legion.  More can be read here.

Personnel stand in shopping centre with bucket collections.
RAF personnel from RAF Cosford at the Birmingham Poppy Day.

On 29th October, RAF Musician Sergeant Ringham, sounded the Last Post at Queen’s Park Ranger’s game against Nottingham Forest.  More about the match can be read here.  

Sergeant Ringham plays trumpet.

We will remember them.