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Air cadets ready to salute the Few

PUBLISHED: 17:41 12 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:31 03 March 2010

CELEBRATING its 60th year, Stowmarket's air cadet squadron are to fall in with RAF veterans in a march through the town commemorating the Battle of Britain.

CELEBRATING its 60th year, Stowmarket's air cadet squadron are to fall in with RAF veterans in a march through the town commemorating the Battle of Britain.

More than a hundred cadets and former airmen will remember 'The Few' as part of the celebrations for Battle of Britain this weekend.

The massed cadet bands of Sudbury and Stowmarket will lead the procession, which will include a contingent of other nearby cadet units, including Wattisham ATC.

Members of Stowmarket's 1331 Squadron will be joined former airmen and women of the RAF Association in a joint commemoration of the wartime foundation in 1941 of the Air Training Corps, formerly the Air Defence Cadet Corps, and the Battle of Britain.

The town's ATC unit was one of the first detachments to be created a year after the epic Battle of Britain, which reached its turning point on September 15, 1940.

The Royal Air Force had been the country's last line of defence as Hitler's forces turned Europe into a Nazi fortress. Described by Churchill as the RAF's "finest hour", young fighter pilots and groundcrew fought tirelessly to beat back the waves of German bombers trying to pound Britain into submission – and won.

The celebrations, including a buffet on Saturday evening, will see on parade one of the original members of 1331 Squadron, octogenarian Norman Baker, as well as other former members and commanding officers.

A commemoration church service will be held at St Peter's and St Mary's on Sunday at 3pm, followed by a march past at which the town mayor John Drake and the ATC's regional commandant, Air Commodore Jon Ford will take the salute in the town's market place.

"In the presence of the RAFA, the proud tradition of our airmen and women gives the young cadets something to look up to," said Gary Pyett, the current CO of 1331 Squadron.

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