Branch marks Battle of Britain in Alfriston

Wing Commander Kevin Tucker, of the Sussex Wing ATC (left) with branch President, Laurie Holland.
Wing Commander Kevin Tucker, of the Sussex Wing ATC (left) with branch President, Laurie Holland.

Battle of Britain Day was commemorated with a formal dinner at The Star in Alfriston by members and guests of the Seahaven Branch of The Royal Society of St George.

Society chairman Bob Peedle said they gave thanks for the efforts of all the young men of the RAF and Fleet Air Arm from this country, the Commonwealth and many European Countries who flew against the Luftwaffe.

It was also a day to remember those men and women of the ground crews, those manning the control rooms and the radar stations, the Royal Artillery Anti Aircraft gunners, the Observer Corps at their listening posts and the civilian services, police, fire, ambulance and hospitals.

The Chairman welcomed the guests and reported on the branch’s activities, which included the support given to the mayor of Telscombe with his Leisha appeal.

The guest of honour was Wing Commander Kevin Tucker, Commanding Officer of the Sussex Wing of the Air Training Corps. He outlined the work done by all the adult staff of the three service cadet organisations.

In memory of the Branch’s first president, the lare Don Mabey MBE, a veteran of the Second World War RAF Aircrew, the branch donated a special trophy to the Sussex Wing to be presented annually to the best cadet.

On Sunday September 28 a small group from the branch will be joining the Air Cadets at a training weekend at Crowborough Camp to witness the presentation of the trophy to its first winner.

Among the other guests were Fran Tegg, editor of Seaford Scene, and Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Clarke, a member of the Council of St George as well as its National Standard Bearer and Chairman of the Aldershot Branch.

He is organising the planting and dedication of a tree at the National Memorial Arboretum later this month at which there will be a delegation from Seahaven, including branch president, chairman and standard bearer Frank Holland.

As well as the wing commander, the Air Training Corps was represented by two cadets, cadet flight sergeant George Wells and cadet sergeant Luke Williams.

During the latter part of his life, the branch’s first president, Don and his wife Maeve raised thousands of pounds for the RAF’s major charity, the Wings Appeal.

In Don’s honour, the proceeds of the night’s raffle were donated to the Wings Appeal.

The next branch event will be the commemoration of the Battle of Trafalgar.

This will be on Trafalgar Day October 21, at Deans Place Hotel in Alfriston.