Duke of Kent honours Battle of Britain veterans
Britain’s Prince Edward honoured veterans from the Battle of Britain in RAF Northolt yesterday (21.09.15).
The Duke of Kent often carries out royal duties on behalf of his first cousin, Queen Elizabeth II, and attended a ceremony to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the conflict that took place from July to October in 1940 over Britain.
The royal – whose father died serving for the RAF in World War II and whose grandfather was King George V – watched as a formation of Spitfires and Hurricanes flew overhead and attended a commemorative dinner later in the day.
Squadon Leader Geoffrey Wellum protected the country at the age of 18 during the battle and lost many of his friends in the fighting.
Speaking at the ceremony, Geoffrey, 92, said: “You accepted losing friends … In the end you accepted it, it was inevitable. But at 19 years old you cannot go to war in a Spitfire and forget about it. It stays with you for all time.
He went on: “One was aware that the Germans were not doing all this for fun, they meant business so it was bloody serious. What matters is we stopped them for the first time. We defeated them and got them to retreat, that is all that mattered to me.”
The celebration was jointly held by the Royal Air Force, the RAF Benevolent Fund, and the RAF Museum, at the RAF’s last remaining Battle of Britain station.