On Friday 1 November 2019, No II Squadron RAF Regiment based at RAF Brize Norton conducted a laying up ceremony of their second Squadron Standard at St Marys Church in Witney, Oxfordshire.
A poignant service run by The Reverend Ross Meikle, Curate, St Mary’s Church and Padre (Squadron Leader) Paul Stephens, RAF Brize Norton Chaplaincy, in the presence of local dignitaries, Air Cadets, veterans, families and friends of II Sqn RAF Regiment.
“I am very honoured to be invited here today, I have a long history and connection with the Squadron, serving from 1977 to 2011 so it has been nice to see old friends too. The Squadron Standard is very important, and it is quite sad for me to see the old Standard go.”
The Squadron took the opportunity to recognise those that have passed whilst serving, by having a singular helmet for each of the 29 personnel on the Squadron’s Roll of Honour. During the service, Air Cadets of 2267 (Brize Norton) Squadron Air Training Corps laid poppies on each of the helmets. The act of remembrance ended with a moment of reflection whilst hundreds of poppies fell from the church arches.
“Today is an absolutely fantastic opportunity for us to recognise, remember and celebrate the successes of the Squadron over the past 29 years, of which there have been many. We received our new Squadron Standard last September, shortly after our arrival at RAF Brize Norton, and wanted to wait for the right occasion to conduct this laying up ceremony. Today has proven to be the perfect occasion for us to not only lay up our old Standard but to further mark and develop our ties to the area. The support we have received from St Mary’s Church and both local and regional dignitaries has been overwhelming, something for which we are hugely grateful.”
Squadron Leader Mark Bowden
Number II Squadron RAF Regiment