RAF veterans and cadets salute the fallen of the Battle of Britain at Alexandra Park Penarth today.
The chaplain of RAF St Athan conducting today’s Battle of Britain service in Alexandra Park has made a pointed reference to the news of the beheading of a British aid worker David Haines (a former RAF engineer) by Muslim ISIS terrorists in the Middle East.
The remark was made in the course of the annual Battle of Britain Thanksgiving and Remembrance Service service organised by the Penarth branch of the Royal Air Forces Association at the war memorial in Alexandra Park this morning.
RAF chaplain Wng Cdr Lance Clark condemned the killing as “man’s humanity to man”
Conducting the service was the Reverend (Wing Commander) Lance E.D. Clark MBE , chaplain of MoD/RAF St Athan who told the congregation today’s service was to commemorate, and to give thanks, for all those who fought in the Battle of Britain, who lost their lives in the battle and who were injured in that battle, in the cause of freedom.
The chaplain read out Churchill’s famous wartime speech extract “Never before in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few ” and said that “Whilst we give thanks today for the victory of ‘the few’ we should also spare a moment in grateful memory of all those who have served our nation so well in the Royal Air Force and in the air forces of the Commonwealth and all those who have served their military service.“
He went on to say: “Our thoughts this year have been many as we have commemorated the start of the First World War, remembering all those battles which have been fought since – right up to the sad news of this morning where man’s inhumanity to man continues in the Middle East“
Left to right Sdn Ldr David Clark, Stephen Doughty MP, Penarth’s Mayor and Mayoress – Cllr and Mrs Martin Turner and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Duncan Cantley at today’s Battle of Britain memorial service in Alexandra Park Penarth
Wreaths were laid on the war memorial by Duncan Cantley – Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Glamorgan, Stephen Doughty – MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, Squadron Leader, David Lawrence – RAF/MoD St Athan, “Tich” Taylor – chairman of Penarth RAFA Branch, Richard James – chairman of the Royal British Legion Penarth, Stephen Coonham – Burma Star Association, Cllr Howard Hamilton – Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan, Cllr Martin Turner – Mayor of Penarth and Cat Sulley of 1148 Air Training Corps.
The Salvation Army Band accompanied the Battle of Britain Memorial Service
The band of the Salvation Army accompanied the service. The chairman of the RAFA Association in Penarth Mr ‘Tich’ Taylor who organises the event said the congregations for the outdoor service had dwindled over the years – with last year’s commemoration being held in heavy rain. Today however the sun came out in the course of the service and there was a larger than usual turn out of young RAF / ATC Cadets.
As the congregation dispersed some members, reflecting that the Battle of Britain victory had saved the nation, wondered – in the light of the Scottish Referendum – whether today’s service could be the last to be held in the United Kingdom as we now know it.