25 Sep RAF takes to the streets of Shrewsbury for Freedom Parade
Shrewsbury came to a standstill on Sunday morning as the men and women of RAF Shawbury exercised their right to march through the town.
Sunday morning’s Freedom Parade marked the 83rd Anniversary of the Battle of Britain and also celebrated the coronation year of the King and Queen.
RAF Shawbury was granted the Freedom of Shrewsbury in 1967 and with it, the privilege of marching through the town, with swords and bayonets on display, along with colours flying, drums beating and band playing.
Personnel at RAF Shawbury have been rehearsing this week to hone their drill skills and ensure that all is perfect for the parade and commemoration.
The roads around Shrewsbury town centre were closed in the morning as Mayor of Shrewsbury, Becky Wall, granted offical permission for the march at Castle Gates to commence after the gates were opened by the town crier, Martin Wood.
The parade began at precisely 10.21am and marched towards St Chad’s Terrace.
The parade saw RAF personnel march through the town with bayonets fixed to their rifles an, ceremonial swords on display.
Onlookers who braved the drizzle to line the roads of Shrewsbury were treated to the sound of drums from the RAF band as the parade made its way down Castle St, Pride Hill, Shoplatch, St John’s Hill and on to St Chad’s Terrace.
The mayor, who was joined by Group Captain Baron, the Commander of RAF Shawbury; the Lord Lieutenant of Shrewsbury, Anna Turner; the High Sheriff, Mandy Thorn and the chairman of Shropshire Council, Councillor Vince Hunt, then welcomed the RAF personnel and accepted the official salute at St Chad’s Terrace.
The parade then marched on into The Quarry towards the War Memorial where a service of Commemoration took place followed by a two-minute silence at 11am before the Reveille was sounded.
There was also be a wreath-laying ceremony followed by a closing prayer from the RAF Shawbury station padre.
The Battle of Britain saw the Royal Air Force face its greatest test and the courage and sacrifice of ’The Few’ – the 2,945 RAF aircrew who faced the Luftwaffe from July to October 1940.
Credit – Shropshire Star