20 Sep 2015
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales attended A Service of Thanksgiving and Rededication to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain at Westminster Abbey on Sunday 20th September 2015.
The Battle of Britain was the first decisive battle in history fought entirely in the air. Battle of Britain Sunday commemorates this dramatic turning point in the history of the Second World War.
At the start of the service, the Prince of Wales laid a wreath at the memorial to Sir Winston Churchill, marking 50 years since the stone was unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen at the Battle of Britain service in 1965.
In his Bidding the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: 'Once again we come together on Battle of Britain Sunday in this House of Kings and House of Prayer to give thanks for the dedication and heroism of members of the Royal Air Force and the allied air forces in that remarkable struggle for air supremacy over Britain in October 1940. Their courage marked a turning point in the war, for without their bravery it is hard to see how the Second World War could have been won.
'As we reflect today on their gallantry and fortitude, we remember all who have served and still serve in the Royal Air Force. We honour all who fight in the service of freedom; we express penitence for the suffering and destruction caused by armed conflicts; and we renew our commitment to work for justice, freedom, and decency.
'Today we pray especially for the Royal Air Force and all those who continue to work, often in immense danger, for justice and peace. We ask for God's guidance that we may hold courageously to the values we profess, that we may indeed do his will.'
Officer Cadet Dominic Howard-Williams RAF read Exodus 3: 1-7, 10-14, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford KCB CBE ADC RAF, Chief of the Air Staff, read St Luke 14: 25-33.
The Address was given by the Venerable (Air Vice-Marshal) Jonathan Chaffey QHC RAF, Chaplain-in-Chief, Royal Air Force.
Prayers were led by the Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Precentor of Westminster, and read by Mrs Joan Fanshawe WAFF; Squadron Leader Rhona Metcalfe RAF; Wing Commander Anne-Marie Houghton RAF; Officer Cadet Jasmine Holmes RAF; Officer Cadet Juliette Lewis RAF; and the Venerable Andrew Tremlett, Canon in Residence.
The service included an Act of Remembrance during which the Battle of Britain Roll of Honour was borne from the Chapel of St George to the Sacrarium by Battle of Britain veterans and others. At the start of the service the Standard of Number 56 Squadron was borne through the Abbey church and laid upon the High Altar.
The service was sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey conducted by James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub Organist. The Central Band of the RAF, conducted by Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs RAF, also played at the service
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