PORT HARDY— Members of 101 Squadron were joined by members of 888 Wing, Canadian Rangers and Junior Canadian Rangers, and members of the public in a memorial service in Carrot Park this Sunday.
The crowd came together to lay wreaths at the Port Hardy Cenotaph in commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
The Battle of Britain was a major turning point in the Second World War, where the Royal Air Force repelled a barrage of attacks from the German Luftwaffe, effectively ending the threat of a German invasion of Great Britain, inflicting the first major defeat on the Germans, and establishing Britain as an Allied stronghold.
“It commemorates the day the tide turned on the air battle for Britain,” explained Russ Hellberg of the 101 Squadron. “It turned the course of the war.”
Those gathered for the ceremony heard Hellberg and Col. Jim Berringer of CFB Comox explain the importance of the battle, and the role of the Air Force in it, reminding those assembled that when British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave his famous line, “Never was so much owed by so many to so few,” it was the Allied airmen in this battle he was praising.
After a minute of silence for those who gave their lives, representatives of the groups present laid wreathes at the Cenotaph before two Pacific Coastal Grumman Goose aircraft performed a pair of in-formation flybys over the annual ceremony. The Junior Canadian Rangers followed their senior counterparts in forming up into pairs to lay their poppies on the Cenotaph and salute before reforming at ease.
Upon being dismissed, many of those present remained at the park to welcome the Tour de Rock riders to Port Hardy on the first leg of their fundraising bike ride.