East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson, has commended the tenacity and selflessness shown by 'the few' that defended the United Kingdom in the skies during WWII.
Dickson commented: 'The Battle of Britain was perhaps one of the most pivotal events of the 20th Century; without the brave and skilled pilots of the RAF, the Europe in which we live would be a very different place. Around 3,000 aircrew, 544 of which were killed, were prepared to sacrifice their lives, to defend the 38 million people of the United Kingdom. This has not been forgotten, and that is why I am so happy to see a vibrant and highly active RAF Association in Carrickfergus."
The Carrickfergus RAF Association's Battle of Britain Commemoration Ceremony took place on Sunday 10 September at Joymount Church.
The Sermon was delivered by Territorial Army (now the Army Reserve) Padre the Reverend Professor Patton Taylor who, not only spoke of the Battle of Britain, but weaved into his preaching his own experiences whilst serving in Afghanistan with the Army. Colin Murphy (Branch Chairman) said: “As we approach the 100th anniversary of the RAF (1 April 2018), and the 75th of the RAF Association (1943-2018), we are pledged to keep alive the memory of those who died whilst in the service of the RAF, or the Air Forces of the Commonwealth, by these Acts of Remembrance. In fact, that is exactly what we say in our ‘Ode’ just before the Last Post is sounded; following Reveille we lay our Wreaths of Remembrance.
Branch Vice Chairman and Wings Appeal Organiser, Wing Commander Noel Williams, said: “We are thrilled that the Joymount Church Congregation receive us so well every September and that the Lord Lieutenant, Councillors and the Air Officer for Northern Ireland support us each year as well. Veterans really do appreciate the presence of civic dignitaries who, by their very attendance, demonstrate respect and honour to those who defended us in what was considered by many as our darkest hours. Several of our members are in their 90’s and served during World War II.”