Sacrifices and freedom to be remembered at RAF Wittering parade in Peterborough

RAF personnel from RAF Wittering march through Peterborough on Remembrance Day last year

RAF personnel from RAF Wittering march through Peterborough on Remembrance Day last year

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Sacrifice and freedom will be remembered when personnel from RAF Wittering march through Peterborough on Sunday (September 18).

Peterborough city centre will be the venue for a parade, which will be followed by a service of commemoration and thanksgiving in the city’s beautiful church of St. John The Baptist.

The parade will commemorate the granting of the freedom of the city to RAF Wittering, and also the anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

The parade is scheduled to begin at 3.45pm with the church service at 6.30pm.

Public figures and officials from the city will be joining Group Captain Rich Pratley, Station Commander at RAF Wittering and his senior officers.

Over 50 Royal Air Force personnel will parade in full dress uniform, with musical support from the Market Harborough Air Training Corps Band. The Peterborough Air Cadets will also parade, as will the Peterborough Schools Combined Cadet Force and a number of veterans’ organisations.

Freedom of the City is an ancient honour granted to martial organisations, allowing them the privilege to march into the city ‘with drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed.’ It is an enduring and significant mark of trust between a city or town and its nearby military units.

The bond between RAF Wittering and Peterborough is of particular significance to Group Captain Pratley, who said: “This is RAF Wittering’s centennial year and what better way to mark it than a parade in historic Peterborough. For me, this is shared history brought to life.

“Peterborough has been a good friend and neighbour to RAF Wittering and over the years this great city has shown the Station sincere friendship. On Sunday we will recognise not only the sacrifices made by the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain, but how strong our mutual bonds are.”