Date Published: 10 September 2020
Rutland County Council’s Armed Forces Champion is encouraging people to show their support for Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) as we approach the 80th anniversary of Battle of Britain Day.
The Battle of Britain took place between July and October 1940, as British and German aircraft fought for control of the skies above southern England.
The most decisive moment came on Sunday 15 September – now celebrated as Battle of Britain Day – when RAF pilots shot down more than 50 enemy aircraft.
Although the Second World War would continue for another five years, the Battle of Britain is regarded as a significant turning point, during which more than 500 RAF pilots and aircrew lost their lives.
Large-scale public commemorations are not able to take place to mark Battle of Britain Day, because of COVID-19. However, people are being encouraged to pay their respects to all those who fought and died, as part of the RAF Association’s national ‘Greatest Salute’ campaign.
“Rutland shares incredibly close ties with the RAF. Before they were transferred to the British Army, Kendrew Barracks in Cottesmore and St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham were RAF airfields. They were both home to RAF personnel for more than 50 years. As a result, we have a large number of proud RAF veterans who live in Rutland, as well as men and women in active service who are based at RAF facilities in neighbouring areas. The Battle of Britain is famed as a defining moment of the Second World War, during which the RAF prevailed against the much larger German forces. Their sacrifices are well-known but must not be forgotten, which is why it’s important that we all pause to commemorate this important anniversary.”
Councillor Ian Razzell, Rutland County Council Armed Forces Champion and former Army Officer
To mark the 80th anniversary of Battle of Britain Day, the RAF Association is encouraging people to share a message of thanks via its website as part of the Greatest Salute. These messages will then be placed in a commemorative time capsule, and buried with honour in the RAF Association Garden of Remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
You can find out more about Battle of Britain Day and share your message of thanks as part of the Greatest Salute by visiting the RAF Association website.
You can also learn more about the Battle of Britain through the RAF.