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Battle of Britain heroes remembered at special church service
6:00am Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
A SPECIAL church service was held in Basingstoke recently to commemorate The Battle of Britain.
Air cadets from 443 Squadron (Basingstoke) join-ed Basingstoke and Deane Mayor Councillor Dan Putty and RAF Odiham Group Captain Dominic Toriati for the hour-long service at St Gabriel’s Church, in Tewk-esbury Close, Popley.
The service included prayers for the Royal Air Force, the Royal Air Forces Association, and a two-minute silence following The Last Post.
Wing Commander Bryan Jenkins, president of the Basingstoke branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, said: “It was about commemorating, in the words of Winston Churchill, The Few who gave their lives in August 1940 defending the country against the Luftwaffe.”
The service included an address from visiting lay preacher Ian Coster, who spoke of his time learning to fly in the Congo in Africa.
For the vicar of St Gabriel’s Church, The Reverend Arthur Botham, the commemoration service was especially poig-nant because before he entered the Church, he served as a non-commissioned officer in the RAF as an electronic engineer for 15 years.
He also acts as padre for 443 Squadron, which is based in the TA Centre, in Penrith Road.
He said: “The Battle of Britain commemoration does get swallowed up by other things, so it is important that we mark it each year. It is important that we remember.”
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