Freedom of Norwich, King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Parades
During the Battle of Britain week last month, RAF Marham took part in a host of parades and services to commemorate the Battle of Britain. This year the parades to exercise RAF Marham’s right to the Freedom of the Borough’s of Norwich and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk also took place during this week.
Freedom of Norwich
Servicemen and women from Royal Air Force Marham marched through the centre of Norwich to exercise their Freedom of the City and to remember those who lost their lives in the Battle of Britain as they participated in the opening ceremony. The Standard of No IX (B) Squadron and two supporting flights were accompanied by the Central Band of the Royal Air Force as the parade formed up outside City Hall ready to be reviewed by The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor Ralph Gayton.
At precisely 12 noon a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performed a flypast, dipping its wings as it flew above the applauding crowds that had filled the streets to see the annual parade.
In his the speech The Lord Mayor described events in 1940 and remembered those who had lost their lives during this pivotal battle. He went on to show his support in thanking the personnel of RAF Marham, many of whom are currently on active service. The Mayor concluded by saying: “Today I am pleased to open this years Battle of Britain week and would urge you to give generously to the RAF Association Wings Day Collection which is on Saturday 15th September – Battle of Britain Day.”
On attending his first Battle of Britain opening ceremony and Freedom of Norwich Parade as the RAF Marham Station Commander, Gp Capt Cooper ADC MA BEng (Hon)s RAF, added: “I am immensely proud of the RAF Marham personnel parading here today and I am indebted to the people of Norwich in allowing us to do so.“
After the parade, a Civic Reception was held in the City Hall.
Freedom of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk
The Freedom of the Borough Parade formed-up at Common Staithe Quay and marched to Tuesday Market Place where it was reviewed by The Worshipful the Mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Councillor Geoffrey Wareham. The Standard of No IX (B) Squadron and two supporting flights were accompanied by the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment.
Following a flypast over the Parade at 12.00 noon performed by a Tornado GR4, speeches were made by The Mayor and the Station Commander. The Mayor, described the event as one of the highlights of his year and further showed his support in thanking the personnel of RAF Marham: “This year has seen RAF Marham and its personnel committed on many operations at home and abroad: Our thoughts are with personnel from II (AC) Sqn who are currently supporting operations in Afghanistan and to IX (B) Sqn who are set to follow. I wish them a successful mission and a safe return home.
RAF Marham’s resilience has been fully tested with the extra home commitments in 2012, none least than supporting one of the greatest sporting events on earth, the 2012 London Olympics. Behind the scenes personnel from RAF Marham supported these events with air power, security and catering on an enormous scale not seen in peace time operations in recent years. Well done All and Thank you.”