Veterans from Hastings marked the 98th anniverary of the formation of the Royal Air Force (RAF) on Friday (April 1).
As in previous years, the Hastings & St Leonards Veterans Association (HSVA) with the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) held a short ceremony to commemorate RAF Foundation Day, starting with a march through Queens Square to the town hall.
The marchers were mainly Hastings veterans but included RAFA chairman Phil Snelgrove and standard bearer Stuart Apps from Bexhill, to parade beneath the RAF Ensign flying on the pole over the entrance porch.
There to welcome the marchers was mayor Bruce Dowling, deputy mayor Judy Rogers, president of 1066 RAFA Pat O’Brien, and HSVA’s senior member Margot Shepherd.
After the RAF Ensign had been saluted by everyone present, the mayor welcomed everybody present, reference to the birth of the RAF 98 years ago during the First World War and its contribution to victory.
He also noted the centenary year is only two years away and hoped Hastings would also be commemorating that special date.
The potted history of the RAF from 1918, through the lean 1930s, the Second World War, the Cold War, to the present day, was given by Mr O’Brien in his first appointment in Hastings since the forming in March this year of the 1066 branch of RAFA, merging Hastings & St Leonards with Bexhill and Battle branch.
The birthday of the RAF took place at 80, The Strand, London, on April 1, 1918, with the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service into Britain’s new third Armed Service, after the Royal Navy and the British Army.
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