RAF Regiment marks its 75th anniversary with a service in Bury

The Queens Colour for the RAF Regiment flanked by the Squadron Standards of the RAF Regiment
Picture Crown Copyright/ SAC Rose Buchanan
The Queens Colour for the RAF Regiment flanked by the Squadron Standards of the RAF Regiment Picture Crown Copyright/ SAC Rose Buchanan
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The RAF Regiment has commemorated its 75th Anniversary with a special service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

The event on Wednesday was attended by more than 600 RAF personnel and local dignitaries, including the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk Clare Lady Euston and the Air Commodore-in-Chief of the RAF Regiment Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton.

From the left,  Warrant Officer Andy Smith, Leading Aircraftman Louis Gell, WO Richard Cook presenting the commemorative candle to The Very Reverend Dr Frances Ward
Picture Crown Copyright/ SAC Rose Buchanan

From the left, Warrant Officer Andy Smith, Leading Aircraftman Louis Gell, WO Richard Cook presenting the commemorative candle to The Very Reverend Dr Frances Ward Picture Crown Copyright/ SAC Rose Buchanan

Sir Stephen said: “The Royal Air Force is extremely proud of what the RAF Regiment has done over the past 75 years. They have succeeded in the job they have been given and continue to set standards.”

St Edmundsbury Cathedral is the custodian of the RAF Regiment Memorial and standards as a mark of the Regiment’s close association with Suffolk.

The Very Rev Dr Frances Ward blessed a commemorative candle which will remain in the cathedral for the rest of this anniversary year and will be lit at choral evensong each day.

The RAF Regiment 75th Candle holder, Leading Aircraftman Gell said: “I’ve just finished my training and been posted to No II Sqn RAF Regiment, a real honour. But today, to be the bearer of the RAF Regiment 75th candle has been amazing. To meet and speak to experienced members of the corps at such a ceremony has been a real privilege; this is where my future is.”

The regiment is the ground fighting force of the RAF and protects air bases. It was founded when the Blitzkrieg of the Battle for France revealed the vulnerability of airfields in mobile warfare.

Olive Hathaway, 84, whose husband Henry was in the regiment, said “My husband started in the RAF Regiment as a ground gunner in Burma and spent the next 34 years serving with the corps.

“Today’s Cathedral service was a wonderful experience and on his behalf I have once again felt the unique fellowship which is the RAF Regiment”