Sept. 4th Saturday
Northolt Commemoration Ceremony
12.00 at the Polish Air Force Memorial, South Ruislip, HA4 6QX
SUBJECT TO NATIONAL AND LOCAL COVID-19 REGULATIONS AND GUIDANCE THEN IN FORCE
The annual and 60th Ceremony of Homage to Fallen Polish Airmen during World War II will be held at the Polish Air Force Memorial at South Ruislip on Saturday 4 September.
The ceremony will open with a Parade of Standards led by the replica Polish Air Force Standard. Polish Air Force Memorial Committee Chairman Richard Kornicki CBE DL, will make an address, welcoming dignitaries, veterans, guests and the public. All members of the public are welcome to attend the ceremony. For those travelling by public transport the nearest Station to the Memorial is South Ruislip, about a 1,100 metre walk.
Invited dignitaries, representing national and local government, Polish and Royal Air Forces and various organisations and associations will lay wreaths on the Memorial. These will be followed by veterans and descendants of the Polish Squadrons and Units commemorated on the Memorial that flew alongside the RAF from 1940 to 1945. A request will be made for a flypast of the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, subject to availability, weather and aircraft serviceability. All are welcome.
After the Ceremony invited guests will transfer to RAF Northolt for a reception and buffet lunch in the Station’s Sword and Wheel Club.
Sept. 5th Sunday
Mass for fallen Polish Airmen
11.30 at Our Lady Mother of the Church, Windsor Road, Ealing, W5 5PD. All are welcome. Please note that this is a change of venue from previous years.
Sept. 19th Sunday (TBC)
Thanksgiving Service for the 81st anniversary of the Battle of Britain
11.00 at Westminster Abbey, London, SW1P 3PA.
Applications for tickets, stating all names, addresses, place and date of birth and Passport or Driving Licence number of individuals wishing to attend, should be made in writing and are to be accompanied by a stamped self-addressed envelope. Applications should reach Mrs Michèle Small, SO3 RAF Ceremonial Events, RAF Ceremonial Office, Bentley Priory Building, RAF Northolt, West End Road, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 6NG by the 16th July.
To assist with seating in the Abbey, applicants are requested to state which of the following categories is appropriate:
* relatives of aircrew who lost their lives in the Battle of Britain or since;
* past or present members of the Royal Air Force and its Reserve Forces;
* members of the Emergency Services or ground support staff during the Battle;
* members of the general public.
Please state if a wheelchair user.
Tickets, and a note on dress and timings for the occasion, will be issued two weeks before the Service. Applications are not to be made to Westminster Abbey.
Representatives of the Polish government, the Polish Air Force, the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee and Polish squadron veterans and their descendants are expected to attend.
The 147 fighter pilots in the Polish Air Force engaged in the Battle of Britain played such a vital role in the conflict. They represented 5% of the 2,936 aircrew that took part, but at the time were officially credited with 8% or 216 of the RAF’s overall 2,692 aerial victories for the loss of 31 pilots, 5.5% of the 544 aircrew lost during the Battle. The 303 Polish Kościuszko City of Warsaw Squadron, flying Hurricanes from RAF Northolt, became by far the most successful fighter unit during the 16 weeks of the Battle. In the six weeks it was operational 303 Sqn was credited with 126 victories for the loss of eight of its pilots; six in actual combat. The Czech pilot Sgt Josef Frantiŝek, a member of the Polish Air Force flying with 303 (Polish) Kościuszko Squadron, was the most successful pilot in the Battle, credited with 17 aircraft destroyed and one probably destroyed.
"Had it not been for the magnificent material contributed by the Polish squadrons and their unsurpassed gallantry, I hesitate to say that the outcome of battle would have been the same." - Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding, Commander of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain.
Sept. 26th Sunday (TBC)
Air Bridge Commemoration Service in remembrance of the casualties of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising
British Commonwealth and Polish War Graves Cemetery, London Road, Newark, Notts.
Guests and Standard Bearers assemble at Cemetery Gates 13.45.
Procession to the Air Bridge Memorial 14.00.
Remembrance Ceremony 14.15.
Oct. 24th Sunday (TBC)
All Souls' Ceremony in remembrance of the Polish Airmen who gave their lives in WW2.
British Commonwealth and Polish War Graves Cemetery, London Road, Newark, Notts. 14.30.
Guests and Standard Bearers assemble at the Thoresby Avenue entrance for the procession to the Polish War Graves Cemetery.
Wreaths and lanterns will be laid by representatives of the Polish government, local authorities, the Polish Air Force, the Royal Air Force and veterans and their descendants.
The service will conclude at approximately 15.15 and all are welcome afterwards for light refreshments at Newark Town Hall, Market Place, courtesy of the Town Mayor. Please note there is no vehicular access to the Market Place and charges apply in car parks on a Sunday.
The Friends of Newark Cemetery will open the cemetery’s Chapel Interpretation Centre with its General Sikorski exhibition.
For further information please contact: SimonPElmer@hotmail.co.uk