Horsham falls silent in poignant tribute to Battle of Britain

Crowds gathered in the town centre this weekend as Horsham hosted a remembrance service to honour those who fought in Battle of Britain.

Members of the Horsham and Storrington branch of the Royal Air Force Association Padre marched through the town on Sunday (September 17) as they took part in a special ceremony to mark the 78th anniversary of the aerial conflict .

A remembrance service was held in the Carfax for those who fought in the Battle of Britain

A remembrance service was held in the Carfax for those who fought in the Battle of Britain

A service was held in the Carfax where several wreathes were laid on the War Memorial before cadets made their way back through the town and down the Causeway to St Mary’s Church for a service of Remembrance.

Stuart Reid, chairman of the 1015 Horsham Air Training Corps Squadron, said: "The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely in the skies. When the battle was over, 544 RAF pilots and aircrew were dead. The conflict brought together a truly multinational force comprising 574 British, 139 Poles, 98 New Zealanders, 86 Canadians, 84 Czechoslovakians, 29 Belgians, 21 Australians, 20 South Africans, 13 French, 10 Irish plus others from the USA, Jamaica, Palestine and Southern Rhodesia."

The ceremony also marked the centenary of the formation of the Royal Air Force.

The parade was led by the Sussex Band of the Royal British Legion and the 1015 (Horsham) Squadron Air Cadets.

Wreaths were laid by Horsham MP and president of the Horsham Air Cadets, Jeremy Quin; Chairman of Horsham District Council Peter Burgess as well as by members from the Royal British Legion; the Air Cadets; the Sea Cadets; and other local organisations.

Mr Reid added: "It was Churchill who said on 20 August 1940 ‘The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few'."

For more on the Horsham Air Cadets visit www.aircadets.org.