Tyne & Wear

Veterans attend Battle of Britain service in Newcastle

Battle of Britain service in Newcastle
Image caption Veterans gathered at St Thomas the Martyr Church in Newcastle

Veterans have gathered in Newcastle for a special service to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Hundreds of people attended the service at St Thomas the Martyr Church, which was preceded by a parade through the city of of RAF servicemen.

Among those taking part were personnel from RAF Boulmer in Northumberland and cadets of the Air Training Corp.

A planned flypast by RAF aircraft had to be cancelled at the last minute because of technical difficulties.

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Brenda Hindmarsh said: "Seventy years ago the country was involved in one of the most significant battles of the Second World War.

'Momentous anniversary'

"This service and parade gave us all an opportunity to say thank you and pay tribute to the bravery of those who took part in this important chapter of our history.

"The RAF continues to do such a valuable job around the world and as Lord Mayor I would like to give them a warm welcome to Newcastle as they mark this momentous anniversary."

The 1940 Battle of Britain saw RAF pilots repelling a German bid for air superiority, making an invasion of the UK impossible.

The battle began on 10 July 1940 and ended on 31 October, when the Luftwaffe were pushed back by the determination and preparedness of the RAF.

More than 2,900 British, Commonwealth and Allied aircrew took part.

At least 23,000 civilians were killed during the battle.

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