On Thursday 21st June 2018, Royal Air Force Brize Norton received the Freedom of Torbay under the Honorary Freedom of Boroughs Act 1885.
An official ceremony took place at the Town Hall in Torquay, where the service commenced with a general salute and an A400M Atlas flypast. The parade was inspected by The Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, Commodore Jake Moores and the Title Deed of Freedom was presented to Group Captain Tim Jones, Station Commander, RAF Brize Norton .
“In the centenary year of the Royal Air Force, it gives me great pleasure to accept the Freedom of Torbay on behalf of RAF Brize Norton. I am all too aware that such honours are rare, and that by having this freedom conferred upon us we are in the company of others who have had the privilege of a close and historic association with Torbay.”
Group Captain Tim Jones
Station Commander, RAF Brize Norton
Following old tradition, the ‘Freedom of the Borough’ was exercised, led by a beating drum from the Band of the RAF Regiment, service personnel from RAF Brize Norton proudly marched through the busy town centre of Torquay; with bayonets fixed, swords drawn and the standards for No. XXIV Squadron.
“Torbay has a very long historical connection with the RAF dating back to the First World War when it was founded by merging the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. With additional resources and new responsibilities the RAF made an outstanding contribution to the defence of this nation in World War II and supported the other two armed services around the world.
Today is a wonderful opportunity, in the RAF’s centenary year, to celebrate those links between Torbay and the Royal Air Force and for the people of Torbay to say a warm thank you not only to the personnel of RAF Brize Norton but to all those that have served in the Royal Air Force. We are extremely grateful to each and everyone one of you for your service to Torbay and the whole of the country.”
Mr Gordon Oliver
Elected Mayor of Torbay
The RAF’s role extends far beyond combat missions. Whether that is through its proud record of humanitarian intervention around the world, or closer to home through its service to the UK public, the RAF is always on hand when people need it the most.