Battle of Britain is marked by RAFA branch in Stornoway

Presenting the Standards at the Battle of Britain Sunday Parade.
Presenting the Standards at the Battle of Britain Sunday Parade.

The Stornoway Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) along with 1731 (Isle of Lewis).

Squadron Air Cadets took part in a whole weekend (13th-15th September) of events to commemorate the Battle of Britain and raise funds to support former and serving members of the RAF and their families.

RAFA Area President, Air Vice Marshal David Niven, with RAFA Stornoway Chairman John Macdonald and RAF servicemen from Benbecula.

RAFA Area President, Air Vice Marshal David Niven, with RAFA Stornoway Chairman John Macdonald and RAF servicemen from Benbecula.

Our local Stornoway Branch of RAFA has excelled in winning the Junior Branch Efficiency Trophy for the Scotland and Northern Ireland Region for three of the last four years, coming second in the fourth.

In recognition of the branch’s achievements and commitment to supporting the RAF family, RAFA Area President Air Vice Marshal David Niven, paid a special visit to the island and spent time with members of the branch and 1731 Squadron Air Cadets.

The weekend began as AVM Niven gave a talk to 1731 Sqn. at their building on Church Street.

Cadets and staff of the squadron then valiantly battled the elements with members of RAFA and RAF personnel from Benbecula on the Saturday for a Wings Appeal street collection.

Cadets collecting for the Wings Appeal.

Cadets collecting for the Wings Appeal.

The day saw heavy rains and strong winds but a great spirit from all involved and a generous public.

On Saturday evening, RAFA hosted their annual Battle of Britain meal at the Failte Centre and welcomed HM Lord Lieutenant and AVM Niven and his wife as special guests.

A good meal and convivial even was enjoyed again supported by 1731 Sqn. who acted a waiters.

Sunday saw the annual Battle of Britain Sunday church parade at The Salvation Army in a service which remembered the fallen, gave thanks to those who courageously fought for our values and freedoms, and prayed for all those who serve today in the defence of our nation.

1731 Squadron Cadets supporting the Battle of Britain meal.

1731 Squadron Cadets supporting the Battle of Britain meal.

Cadets from 1731 Sqn. took part in the service by reading prayers and the occasion was again attended by HM Lord

Lieutenant and the Air Vice Marshal. RAFA were also supported by representative comrades of the Royal British Legion and the Merchant Navy Association whose colours were paraded alongside the Queen’s Colour and the standards of RAFA and Air Cadets.

The latest events of RAFA Stornoway can always be found on their Facebook Page ‘@rafastornoway’ which can also be used as a point of contact should you know of anyone who has served in the RAF, or is the spouse of someone who has served, and may appreciate the practical or other support of RAFA.

The Association exists in the recognition that RAF personnel and their immediate families dedicate their lives to their country, and to ensure that such a sacrifice does not result in suffering, poverty or loneliness.

Whether it’s an injured airman fighting to get back on his feet, a young child missing their parent away on overseas operations, or a World War II veteran needing a shoulder to lean on, we are here to help all generations of RAF Service personnel and their families.