10 April 2018

Watch the RAF100 Baton Relay arrive at CWGC Runnymede Memorial

Royal Air Force veterans and Air Cadets joined a poignant ceremony at the CWGC Runnymede Air Forces Memorial yesterday (Monday), as part of an international series of events marking the RAF’s 100th anniversary.

Photos courtesy of the RAF

The veterans, cadets and a team of RAF personnel, running in the 100-day RAF100 Baton Relay, joined a sunset ceremony led by Katy Harrison, the chaplain of 459 (Windsor) Squadron RAF Air Cadets.

Having run the baton 18 miles from Aldershot, RAF Flight Sergeant Jay Ferguson led the baton runners into the memorial. He said “We brought the baton to Runnymede, as part of the baton relay, for the significance of the site and to commemorate those who went before us and made the ultimate sacrifice for us to be here today. The baton is visiting 100 key RAF locations and many more with significance to the RAF.”

The CWGC’s Peter Francis said: “It is fitting that this event has taken place at a place which marks the human price paid by members of the Commonwealth Air Forces. Today’s event gives thanks for their service and honours their sacrifice, but also reminds us of the importance of passing the baton of remembrance to a new generation so that the names of those listed here, and their memory, lives on.”

Before the ceremony, new members of 459 Squadron were inducted in the hallowed walls of the memorial, where heroes such as Noor Inayat Khan are remembered. Noor was a Women’s Auxiliary Air Force servicewoman in the Second World War who became a secret agent with the Special Operations Executive operating in Nazi-occupied France until she was captured and later executed.

The memorial, built and cared for by the CWGC commemorates more than 20,000 airmen and women who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe who have no known grave.

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