Remembering our valiant pilot heroes

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A SERVICE of remembrance was held at a packed Hailsham Parish Church in Hailsham on Sunday (September 16) for all those who took part in the Battle of Britain during the summer and autumn of 1940.

The event saw representatives from the Royal Air Force Association join with town councillors, former pilots and other military personnel for the ceremony.

This year marked the 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Britain which saw British fighter pilots stop German Nazi forces by during the fierce air battle during the Second World War.

After the service, the Deputy Mayor of Hailsham, Cllr Richard Grocock, took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Hailsham War Memorial, alongside uniformed dignitaries, war veterans and cadets from the 249 Hailsham Millennium Squadron.

Cllr Grocock said: “People should remember those who took part in one of the most significant battles of World War II, and this weekend’s commemorative service gave us all an opportunity to say thank you for the bravery and sacrifice of those who took part in this significant chapter of our history.

“I was delighted to see so many air cadets at this year’s service and it felt incredibly poignant to see the younger generation paying their respects.”

It is estimated that the RAF lost 1,023 aircraft and the Luftwaffe 1,887 during the fierce war waged in the skies which became known as the Battle of Britain.