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My Norwich

Remembering the Battle of Britain

Published on Thursday, 5th September 2019

The heroics of pilots defending this country during the Battle of Britain will be commemorated with a military parade in front of City Hall from 11:30am on Monday 9 September.

RAF Marham, accompanied by the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment, will exercise its Freedom of the City by parading with bayonets fixed.

All are invited to attend this poignant occasion, which will be hosted by the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor Vaughan Thomas. This civic event takes place every year to remember what is often described as a “decisive battle” and “turning point” in World War Two.

Nearly 3,000 RAF personnel, known as 'the few' took part in the battle; pilots who were not just British but serving alongside many from other countries such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, South Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, united in their fight against Nazi Germany.

Although other days during the battle saw fiercer fighting and heavier losses, 15 September 1940 is the only day when two large daylight raids were made on London.

German intelligence indicated that RAF Fighter Command was on the brink of collapse and it was believed that the raids would provide the knockout blow needed to gain the air superiority sought by Germany’s Luftwaffe.

Instead, the raids were convincingly met by the massed fighters of the RAF. The Luftwaffe lost 60 aircraft and morale was badly shaken.

Please note: In the event of severe weather, the marching parade will be cancelled and a small service will take place in St Peter Mancroft Church. Public seating will be limited.

Road closures

St Peters Street and Bethel Street from where it joins St Peters Street up to The Forum car park will be closed from 7am until 2pm (access to the car park will be maintained during this time).

City Hall access

Visitors to City Hall will not be able to use the main entrance on St Peters Street from 11am until 12:45pm and so are advised to use the customer centre entrance on Bethel Street during this time.

Service at Norwich Cathedral

A public service organised by the Royal Air Force Association will take place at Norwich Cathedral on Sunday 15 September. Everyone attending is asked to be seated by 11.15am for an 11.30am start.