Ceremony marks 75th anniversary of Battle of Britain

A moving and reflective ceremony was held at the Lerwick War Memorial this morning to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Members of the Royal British Legion, Merchant Navy and Royal Air Forces Association were among those gathered at the service, with the RAF flag flying above Lerwick Town Hall.

RAFA branch padre Magnus Williamson led the ceremony and gave a prayer paying tribute to those who had fought in the Battle of Britain, veterans of the battle, and those in the armed forces, in particular the RAF.

Accompanied by Lerwick Brass band verses were sung from the hymn O God our Help in Ages Past and famous words recited from For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon before a lowering of banners and The Last Post.

A two minutes’ silence was observed and wreaths laid at the memorial, including those from SIC convener Malcolm Bell and Lord Lieutenant of Shetland Bobby Hunter.

The Lerwick Brass band then struck up again to play The National Anthem.

The banners are lowered for the two minute's silence. Photo: Dave Donaldson.
The banners are lowered for the two minute’s silence. Photo: Dave Donaldson.

Afterwards David Nicolson, who had served 15 years in the RAF Regiment, said it was nice to pay his respects.

“This is a big week for the RAF,” he said and agreed things could have worked out differently if it was not for those who fought in the Battle of Britain 75 years ago.

Almost 3,000 RAF pilots took to the skies to fight against Nazi invasion and more than 500 RAF fighters were killed in the 1940 campaign.

RAFA branch chairman Tom Bulley, said it was important to mark the event, especially on this, its 75th anniversary.

“If the Germans had got air supremacy the way would’ve been to send troops across in open barges,” he said.

“Obviously they would have invaded England because that would have been the shortest distance.”

Following the ceremony a service was held at St Columba’s Kirk.

RAFA president Magnus Henry was among those walking to the kirk, having laid a wreath the the memorial. He said he was disappointed there had not been more members of the public coming out to the service.

“It was a poor turn-out on a day like this, it’s a nice day,” said Mr Henry.


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.