Former RAF Serviceman Tony Parker, of Newark, salutes after laying a wreath. 100917DC1-18
Former RAF Serviceman Tony Parker, of Newark, salutes after laying a wreath. 100917DC1-18

The importance of events marking the Battle Of Britain was highlighted by the Mayor of Newark, on Sunday.

Mrs Rita Crowe was speaking at a reception after the annual parade and service in Newark to mark the 78th anniversary of the fight for air superiority over Britain.

The Mayor of Newark, Mrs Rita Crowe, lays a wreath at the war memorial, accompanied by a member of Newark Sea Cadets. 100917DC1-14
The Mayor of Newark, Mrs Rita Crowe, lays a wreath at the war memorial, accompanied by a member of Newark Sea Cadets. 100917DC1-14

“It is so important that we continue to promote and commemorate the Battle Of Britain and ensure our younger generation never forget the sacrifice made,” she said.

Mrs Crowe said that while she had known about the crucial part airmen played in the second world war for many years, it was only as she began carrying out research in preparation for her speech that she began to appreciate its importance to life today.

“How different things would have been if Hitler had succeeded in invading us,” she said.

“Thank goodness he underestimated the power and determination of the Royal Air Force and civilians in Britain.”

Civic dignitaries take the salute in Newark Market Place after the service and wreath-laying to remember the Battle Of Britain. 100917DC3-1
Civic dignitaries take the salute in Newark Market Place after the service and wreath-laying to remember the Battle Of Britain. 100917DC3-1

She said she had been fortunate to visit RAF Coningsby and see some of the planes from the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight herself.

“I even lightly touched a Spitfire and felt quite emotional as I, like so many, cannot help but be fascinated and excited when I see it in the air weaving and diving,” said Mrs Crowe.

1260 Newark and District Air Cadets, pictured checking their spacings before forming up for the parade.100917DC1-1
1260 Newark and District Air Cadets, pictured checking their spacings before forming up for the parade.100917DC1-1

The chairman of the Balderton branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, Wing Commander Nigel Branston, spoke about Newark’s long history of support for the military over the years.

He said the RAF and air power came into its own during the second world war, with many airfields in the Newark area.

“The support that Newark has given to the RAF, and to other nations’ air forces during the second world war era — notably Polish, Canadian and American — has been superb and continues to this day,” he said.

Wing Commander Branston said the Newark and Balderton branches of the RAFA continued to support RAF family through their charitable and welfare efforts.

“We are honoured to have such a good relationship with our host town and to be part of Newark’s commemoration of the Battle Of Britain. We are also proud to join with our serving colleagues who are here representing RAF Cranwell,” he said.

The Band Of RAF College Cranwell led a parade of RAF personnel together with cadets from the 1260 Newark and District Squadron Air Training Corps and former comrades through the town.

The Last Post and Reveille were played by Sergeant Tom Ringrose, of the Band of RAF College Cranwell. 100917DC1-20
The Last Post and Reveille were played by Sergeant Tom Ringrose, of the Band of RAF College Cranwell. 100917DC1-20

They marched from the London Road carpark along Baldertongate and on to Appletongate to the war memorial in the grounds of Newark Parish Church.

 A civic procession, led by Mrs Crowe and the chairman of Newark and Sherwood District Council, Mrs Linda Tift, left from the Town Hall to join the main parade at the memorial.

Wreaths were laid at the memorial followed by a service in Newark Parish Church when the preacher was the priest-in-charge of Newark, the Rev David Pickersgill.

After, there was a parade through the Market Place when the salute was taken by the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Colonel Tim Richmond, Group Captain Paul McClurg from RAF Cranwell, Wing Commander Branston, Mrs Crowe and Mrs Tift.