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Crowds gather for annual Battle of Britain service

Battle of Britain Parade

VETERAN Airmen from the ‘Old Comrades Associations’ were joined by youth organisations, dignitaries and members of the public yesterday, Sunday 17 September, for the annual Battle of Britain service in Tamworth.

The Service, which took place at St Editha’s Church is to not only remember those from past conflicts but also the service personal that are involved in todays commitments.

The amazing event saw the formation for inspection of various youth organisations, including; 1122 ‘Marmion’ Squadron Air Training Corps; Tamworth Police Cadets; Tamworth Sea Cadets and  Tamworth Scouts, Guides & Kinder Cadets in St Editha’s Square.

Pupils from Tamworth’s Rawlett Academy were also in attendance to show their support to the community and the parade.

Once the formation was complete an inspection was conducted by Air Commodore David McLoughlin OBE from DMS Whittington, along with The Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr John Chesworth who both arrived to St Editha’s Square to be greeted by Standards, bought to attention by Parade Marshal, Sgt (ATC) Jon Thursfield.

Following the inspection the Standards moved to form up outside St Editha’s Church Doors with the Standards forming a Guard of Honour outside the Church.

A church service was then led by Reverend Vic Van Den Bergh. RFCF, RNR within the church.

It was great to see the event supported by members of the public; Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher; Cllr Danny Cook Leader of Council, Cllr Simon Peaple Leader of Opposition and various other dignitaries.

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Below is a letter we were sent in relation to the event:

I was very pleased to join veterans, members of the Flarepath Club, Tamworth’s cadets, councillors and many members of the public for the Battle of Britain Service at St Editha’s last Sunday.  It was a fine service reminding us all of the sacrifice of the past and the hope and challenge for the future.  As each year passes, more and more veterans who connect us to that past go missing.  At this year’s service, we missed Peter Seekings who died earlier in the month.  Peter was a hard working councillor, committed to his Bolehall ward and to Tamworth.  He will be very sadly missed.  He was also very committed to the Royal Air Force Association – the RAFA – and to Tamworth’s own Flarepath Club on Lichfield Street.  After each Battle of Britain service, after remembering the heroism of 1940, everyone gathers at the Club.  Peter was always there.  Last Sunday his place was empty.  That was very sad for the RAFA, his club friends and for our town.  As we remember the bravery of a few pilots nearly eighty years ago, I hope today we will also remember Peter Seekings, and his family and friends, for all he did for Tamworth and for veterans’ services.
 
Christopher Pincher
Member of Parliament for Tamworth

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