RAF cadets lead memorial service to mark Battle of Britain

The city's RAF cadets gathered as they paid their respects to those who fought in the Battle of Britain.

The North East lost 544 people in the major air campaign between the force and Germany’s Luftwaffe over the south of England in the summer and autumn of 1940.

Members of RAF air cadet squadrons join together for the Battle of Britain service in Burdon Road, Sunderland, earlier today.

Members of RAF air cadet squadrons join together for the Battle of Britain service in Burdon Road, Sunderland, earlier today.

Today, air cadets from RAF 111 Sunderland Squadron were joined by members of 607 Wearmouth and 1027 Jarrow and 324 South Shields for a memorial service in front of the war memorial on Burdon Road.

The service was led by Julie Judson, the padre of the Sunderland squadron and member of the city’s Salvation Army, with the city’s mayor Councillor Doris McKnight also addressing the crowd.

Coun McKnight, who was accompanied by her consort and husband Keith, said: “It was emotional and to think we lost 544 from the North East.

“I am very proud to represent the city on this day because I think it is very important that we remember that if it wasn’t for the Battle of Britain, things would be very a different situation today.”

The service was held in front of the war memorial on Burdon Road.

The service was held in front of the war memorial on Burdon Road.

She added the young members of the ATCs had done themselves proud by attending the service.

Flight Lieutenant James Yeo of the RAF Volunteer Reserve Training Branch, is based with the 111 Squardon in Tay Road, Thorney Close.

It took on the organisation of the service when the city’s RAF Association closed around seven years ago,

He said: “It is really important we continue to do this.

Standard bearers standing to attention during the ceremony next to the War Memorial next to Mowbray Park, Sunderland.

Standard bearers standing to attention during the ceremony next to the War Memorial next to Mowbray Park, Sunderland.

“As part of the introduction when cadets join, they learn about the history of the RAF, which is the parent service of the Air Training Corp, so we ensure they know about the Battle of Britain.

“It’s fantastic to see the cadets turn out.”

The Sunderland service took place today to avoid clashing with last weekend’s Great North Run.

It followed on from a flag-raising ceremony at Sunderland Civic Centre on Friday in recognition of the landmark event and remained on show over the weekend.

The service was told the sacrifices service men and women made during the Second World War.

The service was told the sacrifices service men and women made during the Second World War.

The Battle of Britain was a major air campaign fought over southern England in the summer and autumn of 1940. Here are 8 things you need to know about one of Britain’s most important victories of the Second World War.

Anyone who would like to find out more about the 111 Sunderland Squadron can visit http://www.111squadronatc.co.uk/.

The young people of the RAF cadet corps did the city proud, said organisers.

The young people of the RAF cadet corps did the city proud, said organisers.

The ceremony was one of several to be held across the country.

The ceremony was one of several to be held across the country.

Padre Julie Judson was joined by Sunderland's mayor Doris McKnight, who was accompanied by her consort and husband Keith McKnight.

Padre Julie Judson was joined by Sunderland's mayor Doris McKnight, who was accompanied by her consort and husband Keith McKnight.