The heroes of the Battle of Britain were honoured at an incredibly moving anniversary ceremony in Trafford.
Trafford Council hosted the special commemorative event at Sale Town Hall on Sunday, September 19 to mark the 81st anniversary of the World War 2 battle.
The service was attended by Trafford Council leader Cllr Andrew Western, Trafford Mayor Cllr Laurence Walsh, MPs Graham Brady and Kate Green, Cllr Judith Lloyd, Armed Forces Champion, and several other civic dignitaries from across the borough. Cllr Walsh stood alongside his brave nephew Carl Loftus who is currently serving in the Royal Air Force.
The Battle of Britain took place between July and October of 1940 between Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Luftwaffe, Germany’s air force, and was the first battle in history fought solely in the air. Germany planned to gain air superiority in preparation for an invasion of Great Britain but were defeated by our brave Hurricane and Spitfire pilots forcing Hitler to abandon his plans.
Nearly 3,000 men of the RAF took part in the Battle of Britain – those who Winston Churchill called ‘The Few’. While most of the pilots were British, Fighter Command was an international force. Men came from all over the Commonwealth and occupied Europe – from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Belgium, France, Poland and Czechoslovakia. There were even some pilots from the neutral United States and Ireland.
During the service at Sale Town Hall, a bugler played the last post and there was a two minute’s silence at 11am to remember those who fought in the battle. Young Trafford cadets stood to attention while Altrincham orchestra played a beautiful medley of wartime songs finishing with ‘We’ll Meet Again.’.
Trafford Council was forced to scale back last year’s event due to the Covid 19 pandemic, but this year’s service was back to full capacity and very well attended by civic dignitaries and the public alike.
Trafford Council Leader, Cllr Andrew Western, said:
“It was a massive honour to pay tribute to the brave servicemen and women who fought in the Battle of Britain on the 81st anniversary. Had it not been for their bravery, Hitler would have moved forward with his plans to invade the UK and all of our lives would have been very different.
“We enjoy the freedoms we have today because of those who fought so hard and gave their lives. They are forever in our thoughts and in our hearts. Thank you to everyone who attended the service and paid their respects.”