Breakaway Battle of Britain commemoration held by Royal Air Forces Association in Newark war memorial gardens
A breakaway Battle of Britain commemoration took place on Sunday organised by veterans who refused to surrender to coronavirus.
Newark’s Battle of Britain commemorations were cancelled in their traditional form of a parade involving veterans and personnel from RAF College Cranwell due to covid fears on social distancing for participants and a crowd of hundreds.
In tribute to their forebears members of the Newark and Balderton branches of the Royal Air Forces Association branches took the controls of their own event, which was in addition to a separate wreath-laying by civic dignitaries that took place half an hour earlier.
Standards from the two branches were joined by that of the Newark Branch of the Royal Naval Association and RAF Police veterans.
Social distancing and track and trace were utilised and a marshal stood at the entrance to the war memorial gardens to ensure there were no transgressions.
It took place 24 hours before the government’s Rule of Six came in and was attended by less than 20 people.
Organiser Chris Gangel said it was felt the anniversary could not go unmarked and such a small ceremony could be carried off safely.
Alan Mellor, clerk to Newark Town Council, said: “I had concerns about the number of people who could attend and its informal structure, but after conversations with the RAFA I was more comfortable with the steps taken.”