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13 July 2017

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The Band of the RAF Regiment National Memorial to the Few

On Sunday 9 July, the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment headed to picturesque Capel-le-Ferne for the Memorial Day at the Battle of Britain Memorial site. The National Memorial to the Few is dedicated to the heroic and selfless deeds of the men who fought the Battle of Britain, 10 July to 31 October, 1940. Each year, the Memorial Day, an annual engagement for RAF Music Services, gives members of the public a chance to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The gates to the site opened at 10:00 giving members of the public and participants a chance to view the Memorial site and explore ‘The Wing’. Open to the public since Saturday 28 March, 2015, this eye-catching building was designed by Folkestone architectural practice Godden Allen Lawn in the shape of a Spitfire wing, complete with its famous uplift. As well as the visitor experience, ‘The Wing’ includes a classroom area to help fulfil the Trust’s aim to educate youngsters, in particular, about the heroism and sacrifice made by those who took to the skies above the White Cliffs of Dover in the Battle of Britain. A central ‘cockpit’ area with an open balcony offers superb views across the Channel to France, from where the Luftwaffe would have appeared on the horizon, all those years ago. A special piece of technology allows visitors to look through binoculars at the view as it is today and then ‘see’ approaching German aircraft.

At 13:30 the Band of the RAF Regiment had the honour of representing RAF Music Services, performing as part of the Parade and the actual Act of Remembrance, the Memorial Service. With Capel-le-Ferne being on coast and having it’s own micro-climate, the weather at this event has varied greatly over the years. Today however the Band under the musical direction of the Bandmaster, Warrant Officer Paul Craggs and led by our Drum Major, Chief Technician Robert Scullion, enjoyed being part of the service in the glorious sunshine. The Band were accompanied on parade by marching troops from Kent Wing Air Cadets and Veterans. A Spitfire and Hurricane provided the flyover and trumpeter, Corporal James Lawrence, provided a moving rendition of the Last Post as part of the Memorial Service.

RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Capel le Ferne

The Band of RAF Regiment concluded the day with a Sunset Ceremony before heading back to Northolt to begin preparations for their musical support of the Royal International Air Tattoo on Friday 14 July and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo throughout August.

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