Annual Dudley thanksgiving service honours Battle of Britain heroes
Hundreds of people turned out in Dudley today to pay their respects to Battle of Britain heroes.
The Mayor of Dudley, Dudley Council, Royal Air Force Association Dudley Branch and RAF Cosford teamed up to commemorate the day.
Every year the borough pays its respects to the people who lost their lives in the Second World War battle of the skies, as well as armed forces personnel serving today.
Royal Air Force cadet squadrons from all across the region joined the parade, which assembled in High Street and marched from St. Thomas and St. Luke’s church.
Residents of all ages followed the parade, including the family of 13-year-old cadet Oliver Bradley.
The teenager joined 2488 squadron in Kingswinford in July and this was his first event as part of the cadets.
His mother Lydia, father Paul and younger sister Charlotte watched on.
Mrs Bradley, a cardiac physiologist at New Cross Hospital, said Oliver's younger sister seven-year-old Charlotte wants to join the cadets too when she is old enough. Mrs Bradley, from Wordsley, said: "This is his first event so he's very nervous but we're very proud.
"His interest started when we took him to RAF Cosford Air Show in June and he was talking to the engineers and I saw an advert for the cadets and suggested he joined.
"He's really looking forward to the events they have such as camps etc.
"We had been looking for something for a while to get him out and off his Xbox."
Mr Bradley added: "He's interested into going into engineering in the future."
And grandmother Patricia Rogers was watching 17-year-old Kryan Brownhill who was the lead drummer in Kingswinford cadets.
She said: "His mum is on holiday so we've stepped in to come and watch him.
"He's also in the cadets national band and hoping to join the air force next year."
The parade, was led by Kingswinford ATC band and was saluted by the Mayor, RAF Cosford and members of the Royal Airforce Association as it passed by.
Councillor David Stanley, Mayor of Dudley, said: "We were extremely privileged to be joined by RAF Cosford again for this year’s parade, further establishing our strong links with the armed forces.
“The event is an important reminder of the bravery and sacrifice made by these heroes, and will reinforce the nation’s heartfelt gratitude.”
Following the parade, a service took place at 10.55am, officiated by Reverend James Treasure.
Residents were invited to attend the service at the cenotaph, Ednam Road, which included wreath-laying and one minute’s of silence.
Guests then adjourned to the Army Reserve Centre in Vicar Street at 11.30am for refreshments following the service.