Shrewsbury ceremony to mark Battle of Britain 80th anniversary

A wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain is being held this weekend.

Spitfire fighter planes were integral in the Battle of Britain
Spitfire fighter planes were integral in the Battle of Britain

The event will take place in Shrewsbury Quarry on Sunday from 10.30am.

The annual civic event will follow a revised layout this year. In line with current social distancing measures, a reduced number of personnel from RAF Shawbury will form up from 10.30am for a short pre-recorded service.

A special wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the War Memorial at 11am to commemorate the hundreds of lives lost during the battle.

Wreaths will be laid by the High Sheriff, the Mayor of Shrewsbury and the RAF Shawbury Station Commander.

The annual commemorative service marks the defence of the United Kingdom by Royal Air Force pilots and aircrew, and the loss of more than 500 lives, during the Battle of Britain in 1940, which has been recognised as the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces.

The Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Phil Gillam, will lead the wreath laying, and said: “I am honoured to be taking part in next weekend’s commemorative event as I feel that we owe so much to not only our brave pilots and aircrew who fought to defend our country, but also to the teams behind the scenes who worked day and night to ensure that the RAF was ready for battle.

“In these difficult times, we will be having a minimal service to mark the occasion to pay tribute to those who served, especially on this 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.”

At the height of the Battle of Britain, the RAF had only 749 fighter aircraft available, against 2,550 Luftwaffe aircraft.

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