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Thread: Commemorative service RAF Church – St Clement Danes, London 26 March 2009

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    Default Commemorative service RAF Church – St Clement Danes, London 26 March 2009

    Just received this email today.

    From : Temora Aviation Museum <admin@aviationmuseum.com.au>
    Subject : MUSEUM HELPS SPITFIRE VETERANS TRAVEL TO LONDON

    Mon, 23 Mar, 2009 12:29 PM

    The Temora Aviation Museum, which operates the only two flying Spitfires in Australia, has funded twelve business class airfares enabling veterans representing Australian World War II Squadrons to attend a commemorative service being held in the Royal Air Force’s Church – St Clement Danes in London.

    President of the Spitfire Association, Lysle Roberts, who enlisted with RAAF 457 Squadron as an 18 year old in 1943 said, “After 64 years to be able to say a last farewell to our lost friends and comrades is an occasion we never dreamed could eventuate. Through the overwhelming generosity of the Temora Aviation Museum this can now be achieved.”

    The first church on the site was built by a Danish community in the 9th century. The church was first rebuilt by William the Conqueror, and then again in the Middle Ages. It was in such a bad state by the end of the 17th century that it was demolished and again rebuilt this time by Christopher Wren. The church was almost destroyed by German bombs during the London Blitz of May 10, 1941. The outer walls, the tower and the steeple, survived the bombing, but the interior was gutted by fire. Following an appeal for funds by the Royal Air Force, the church was completely restored and was re-consecrated on 1958 to become the Central Church of the Royal Air Force.

    The Welsh slate floor of the church is inscribed with the badges of over 800 Royal Air Force commands, groups, stations, squadrons and other formations. Near the entrance door is a ring of the badges of Commonwealth air forces, surrounding the badge of the RAF. The ceremony which will take place on March 26th is to acknowledge the addition of eleven badges representing five Royal Australia Air Force (RAAF) fighter squadrons and six RAAF bomber squadrons who played a great role in the defence of England during World War II.

    Museum Chief Executive Kenny Love spoke with 91 year old Spitfire Pilot Ted Sly just before he boarded the plane to England today. Ted said, “My job is to represent the boys who aren’t here and the tremendous contribution that they made for freedom. Many of the finest pilots paid the supreme sacrifice - the price of freedom isn’t cheap.”

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    Lorraine
    My RAAF father's name is written in one of the books around the side aisles of St Clements Danes Church .It's near the Australian Embassy in London & a beautiful church.
    It is heartening that the Temora Museum has funded airfares for RAAF veterans to attend the commemorative service.

    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 23rd March 2009 at 22:08.

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    Hi, you may be interested to know that on Sunday 29 March 2009, the Annual Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving for the Formation of the Royal Air Force, will be held in St Clement Danes at 11.00. I will once again have the honour of carrying my RAF Association Standard before the service.

    Robin.

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    Default St Clement Danes

    Anne,
    What a beautiful church. I have seen pictures and downloaded music from the choir. My uncle's name will also be in a remembrance book. W/O Cyril Spencer Luke 412461 AU. He was shot down and killed in Italy 1944 when flying spitfire from 43 Sqn.
    I watch your posts with interest and hope for success in finding your father and his crew.

    Robin,
    You are fortunate to be able to take part in the ceremony on Sunday. Enjoy the day. Wish I could be there.

    Lorraine

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    Hi Lorraine.
    You are quite correct, it is a beautiful Church, on a similar note, in June 2006 I was invited by the Order of Australia Association to represent the RAF Association at a Service of Commemoration for the members of the RAAF who were killed in WW2, this was held in the Church of St Mary Le Bow in the City of London, (the Church of the famous Bow Bells), like St Clement Danes, this church was also built by Sir Christopher Wren. Will think of you on Sunday as I march down the aisle with my Standard.

    Robin.

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    Default St Clement Danes

    Thanks Robin. I know you will also be thinking of all the brave young boys who lost their lives.
    It is a great honour for you to be chosen to be a part of these services. You must have some special attributes.
    Best wishes
    Lorraine

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