Feature Story Monday September 26, 2011
The Turning Point
Chilliwack remembers lives lost on the 71st Anniversary of the Battle of Britain
Craig Hill/Voice photos
The Chilliwack Colour Guard leaves the cenotaph memorial after the Battle of Britain service.
t was July 1940 and The Battle of Britain was about to take place. For Allies, it was the first major campaign fought by air after the German Luftwaffe turned it's attention from France to Britain where they hit the Royal Air Force Fighter Command airfields and its infrastructure around Portsmouth, as well as convoys across the Atlantic.
The name of the campaign is from a speech delivered by Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the House of Commons where he said "The Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin."
The RAF's Mk1, Hurricane and Spitfire planes reached speeds up to 345mph as they fought against the twin-engine Messerschmitt.
Ultimately, Germany failed to destroy Britain's RAF and the battle was seen as a turning point in World War ll.
On Sunday, September 18, the 71st Anniversary Battle of Britain Memorial Service took place in Chilliwack at the downtown cenotaph. Members of the 879 RCAF Wing Command and City dignitaries placed wreaths in remembrance of those who lost their lives in that battle.
The Chilliwack Colour Guard led a squadron of cadets into the square where five 147 Air Wolf cadets, with heads bowed, were stationed around the memorial. Leading the service was Salvation Army Padre, Angus Haggarty.
When the ceremony was over, the cadet squadron marched back to their base at the Armouries on Princess Ave. and veterans went to the Legion Hall on Mary St. for refreshments and lunch.
Hear the 2010 ceremony in full here. See this year's photo gallery below.
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