An official ceremony has been held in Grantham today to mark the 104th anniversary of the Royal Air Force, with council leaders watching on as the RAF flag waved proudly.
The ‘Fly the Flag for the Royal Air Force’ standard raising commemorated April 1, 1918, when the RAF was founded some 104 years ago.
The event was held outside South Kesteven District Council offices as wartime memories were recalled of the key role played by RAF Spitalgate during the First World War – operating as a flying training base in Grantham.
The ceremony was attended by Royal British Legion representatives, Legion standard bearers, RAF members and elected members and council staff, including SKDC leader Kelham Cooke. Prayers were also offered from St Wulfram’s Church by Father Aron Donaldson.
Councillor Breda-Rae Griffin, chairman of South Kesteven District Council, welcomed guests to the event wearing medals won by her father, who was a Spitfire pilot during the Battle of Britain.
She said: “Thank you for joining me today for this ceremony. The RAF was founded on April 1, 1918, towards the end of the First World War, by merging the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.
“The Armed Forces Services Week in June of course celebrates and recognises all the armed forces, including the RAF, but South Kesteven has a wealth of RAF history.
“With this in mind it is appropriate that we celebrate by holding this ceremony in recognition of the role of the RAF within the district.”