One of the last remaining veterans from the Battle of Britain is due to attend a commemorative event next month, just two weeks before his 100th birthday. Wing Commander Paul Farnes DFM AE is expected to be a VIP guest at the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust’s annual Memorial Day, which takes place on Sunday, July 1 at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne, near Folkestone, Kent. Wg Cdr Farnes, a long-term supporter of the work of the trust, will celebrate his 100th birthday on July 16.
The event, which also features a flypast and display by aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (weather permitting) will this year mark the 25th anniversary of the unveiling of the National Memorial to the Few, the centre piece of the clifftop site.
Memorial Day, which will be attended by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the Air Staff, is a colourful occasion that features a parade of standards carried by a wide range of ex-service organisations. The free event begins at 10.30am with a display by the Kent Wing ATC Band, followed by a display by the Kent Wing Drill Display Team. Music from the RAF Central Band will be followed by the arrival of the Sovereign’s Colour of the RAuxAF, carried by 600 (City of London) Squadron RAuxAF, along with the Polish Air Force replica standard, ahead of a Royal Salute at 1.30pm.
After a service of commemoration, relatives and others will lay floral tributes at the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall, which carries the names of the Few who won such a decisive victory in 1940.