Former Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe

Adapted from The Times, London, September 18, 1998

Concludes with the Sixth Anniversary Service of the Battle of Britain

Fred Rosier won his DSO in the Second World War while commanding a Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter wing in the Western Desert. His citation, which described him as an "outstanding pilot and leader," made special reference to one incident in late 1941 after Rosier had scrambled his air crews on a mission to support another unit under attack from a force of Me-109s. On breaking off the engagement, Rosier saw that one of his aircraft, an Australian Tomahawk, had been forced to crash-land behind enemy lines. Bringing down his own Hurricane alongside, he recovered the pilot, squeezed him into his own single cockpit and sat on top of him before trying to take off again. His efforts were frustrated, however, when a tire burst on the over-loaded plane.

Regretfully abandoning his few personal possessions, including a prize silver tankard he always took with him, Rosier grimly set off with his companion at the beginning of a long trek through enemy territory. They had hardly started out when there appeared a force of Italian infantry in trucks. A mortified Rosier could only watch from his hiding place as the Italians found and confiscated his belongings, including the tankard.

After waiting until nightfall they set off again, navigating their way by the stars. For four days they crossed the desert, dodging columns of German armor, until they heard the (for once) welcome crash of gunfire. Running towards it, they stumbled with relief into a British Guards unit.

The story, as told by Rosier, had a happy ending. While on leave in Cairo, he recounted the tale to a South African major he ran across in a bar. "Hold on," said the South African. Fishing inside his bag he triumphantly brought out the tankard. His own men had found it in a captured German tank which had apparently procured it from the Italians in a "swap." Fred Rosier hardly let it out of his sight for the rest of his life.

In one sense, he was lucky to be alive for the desert campaign. The most serious of a succession of narrow escapes had happened in 1940, when he was leading a detachment of Hurricanes from 229 Squadron in support of the British Expeditionary Force in France. Rosier was shot down in flames at Vitry, near Arras. He bailed out badly burnt and was taken to a hospital, where he was informed by doctors that he would never fly again. After spending most of the summer under treatment he proved them wrong and was back in the air in time for the tail-end of the Battle of Britain. He also escaped serious disfigurement, although he always carried with him the barely discernible marks of his pilot's goggles - which, while saving his eyes, had burnt into his face.

Despite his name - thought to reflect a Huguenot ancestry - Frederick Ernest Rosier was himself a Welshman. The son of an engineer with the old Great Western Railway, he was born in Wrexham and spent part of his childhood in nearby Corwen. He went to Grove Park School, Wrexham, where he distinguished himself by playing rugby for North Wales Schoolboys and performing as a talented violinist in a local youth orchestra.

He seriously considered a career in the police, before opting instead for the RAF and a short service commission - then a cheaper alternative to the grander means of entry through the RAF College, Cranwell. After training as a fighter pilot he applied for a permanent commission, only to be told that he would have to retrain as an engineer. Reluctantly, he moved to the RAF School of Aeronautical Engineering at Henlow. He was saved, however, a few weeks later by the outbreak of the war, which immediately posed a need for trained pilots.

After France and the desert, "Rosie" (as some of his contemporaries knew him) returned to this country in 1943 and took command of a succession of bases, including the fighter station at Northolt, where he formed a great admiration for his Polish aircrews. He ended the war back on the Continent as Group Captain (Operations) of 84 Fighter Group.

He went to the United States on an exchange in the late 1940's and on his return began a steady ascent through the ranks. He chaired the Joint Planning Staff at the Ministry of Defense under Lord Mountbatten (then Chief of the Defense Staff) and went to Aden in the early 1960s as Air Officer Commanding the Middle East Air Forces.

Between 1966 and 1968 he was the last Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command before it was subsumed by the all-embracing Strike Command, then went to Ankara as Britain's military representative at the Central Treaty Organization. He moved to his final post as NATO's deputy Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe, based in The Netherlands, in 1970 and retired three years later.

He then joined the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) as a director and military adviser and in 1977 left for Saudi Arabia to take charge of the multi-million pound contract under which BAC supplied Lightning Fighters and also ran much of the infrastructure of the Saudi Air Force. For Rosier, who had grown to love the desert, it was an ideal job.

He retired for the second time in 1980, returning to live in the Welsh hills outside Llangollen. A skilled carpenter, a gift he had inherited from his father, he spent much of his spare time in his workshop.

But Fred Rosier was still better known for his violin. He carried it with him wherever he went and played it as often as he could - not always, it has to be said, to an appreciative audience in the mess. He could literally play it standing on his head, and would sometimes do so as a party piece.

He also worked in retirement for the Polish Airmen's Benevolent Fund and led the appeal to build a new Polish war memorial at RAF Northolt. Decorated by the Dutch and the Poles after the war, he was admitted earlier this year to the Polish Order of Merit.

A service of thanksgiving for him was held 14 December 1998 at St. Clement Danes, Strand, WC2. After the service there was a flyover of four Tornadoes from 43 (F) Squadron, RAF Leuchars.

Fred Rosier is survived by his wife Hettie, whom he had known since their schooldays in Wrexham and whom he married in 1939, and by their three sons and a daughter, Mrs. Elisabeth Carver. Liz and her husband, Chuck, are shown on the right with Frederick William Carver, their grandson - Sir Fred's great grandson and namesake.

I met Air Chief Marshall Rosier in the 1970's when he visited the Carvers in Dayton, Ohio. He was a fine gentleman.


Every tenth year Great Britain especially celebrates the Battle of Britain. The sixtieth anniversary was particularly important since there will probably be no survivors for the seventieth anniversary. Liz Carver accompanied her mother, Lady Hettie Rosier, to the year 2000 celebration and sent me the program shown at the right. Air Commodore Peter Brothers, who participated in the service, autographed it as well.

What follows is the order of the service as outlined in the program:


BATTLE OF BRITAIN SUNDAY commemorates a dramatic turning-point in the history of the Second World War.

The object of the Germans was to eliminate the Royal Air Force both in the air and on the ground, and to obtain air superiority in preparation for a seaborne and airborne invasion. Deployed along the French and Belgian coasts, the Luftwaffe began their first heavy onslaught early in July 1940, directed against British shipping and the Channel ports. The intention of this first phase of the battle was to engage the Royal Air Force and wear down its strength. The second phase, from 8 to 18 August, consisted of intensive day operations against coastal radar stations and fighter airfields. The third phase began after a five-day lull with increased night attacks and attacks on the fighter airfields in the London area.

The daylight assault on London marked the beginning of the fourth phase which opened on 7 September with attacks on the docks which, though serious in themselves, brought vital relief to the fighter airfields which had been under such pressure. This phase lasted most of the month and reached a climax on 15 September, when over one thousand sorties were flown against the capital in the afternoon and at night. The Luftwaffe lost 56 aircraft.

Throughout October, the fifth and last phase saw the decline of enemy daylight attacks on London and an increase in the night bombing of Britain's major ports and industrial centres. At the beginning of the battle the Luftwaffe had 2,790 aircraft to launch against England. Britain had less than 60 fighter squadrons, representing some 650 aircraft, and the ground staff had to work sometimes 16 hours a day to keep the machines in the air. Between 24 August and 6 September alone, Fighter Command lost 103 pilots killed and 128 seriously wounded, while 366 fighters had been put out of action.

On Sunday 15 September came what Sir Winston Churchill called one of the decisive battles of the war.' In his immortal words, 'The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world ... goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.' The home base secure, the Royal Air Force could now turn to wider tasks. The safeguarding of the Atlantic lifeline in co-operation with the Royal Navy; the long fight for Malta, North Africa and the control of the Mediterranean; the mounting bomber offensive against German cities; the struggle for air supremacy over North-West Europe without which the Normandy Invasion would have been impossible; and the support of the invasion campaign itself: all were essential contributions to final victory in Europe. In the Far East too, most memorably in the appalling conditions of the Burma campaign, the Royal Air Force played its part. In commemorating the airmen who fought in the Battle of Britain we pay tribute also to all those who in the later years of the war served in all the Allied Forces at sea, on land and in the air.

On this Sixtieth Anniversary we record our continuing sense of gratitude for what was achieved in the darkest moments of war, and we rededicate ourselves to strive untiringly for peace, justice and freedom in the world today.

This service is to be broadcast live by BBC Television and BBC Radio 4. Please ensure that all mobile telephones and pagers are switched off

The service is sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey, conducted by James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers.

The organ is played by Andrew Reid, Sub-Organist.

The Ensign of the Royal Air Force paraded at this service is of silk fabric and is known as the Fighter Command Ensign. It is carefully maintained to take its traditional place at this annual service.

Before the service, the Central Band of the Royal Air Force - conducted by Wing Commander R K Wiffin BA, FTCL, LRAM, ARCM, RAF, Principal Director of Music, the Royal Air Force, plays:

Homage March - Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) - from Sigurd Jorsalfar op.56 - arranged by Frank Winterbottom

Excerpts from Things to come - Arthur Bliss (1891-1975) - orchestrated by Dan Godfrey (1868-1939)

Elegy on the Royal Air Force March Past - Barrie Hingley (b. 1938)

At 10.40 a.m. all stand as the following are borne in procession from the Great West Door:

The Queen's Colour for Royal Air Force College Cranwell.

The Queen's Colour for No 1 School of Technical Training.

The Queen's Colour for the Royal Air Force Regiment.

The Queen's Colour for the Central Flying School.

The Queen's Colour for Royal Air Force Halton.

The Sovereign's Colour for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

The Banner for the Air Training Corps.

During the Procession the Central Band of the Royal Air Force plays:

Spitfire Prelude - William Walton (1902-83)

The Central Band of the Royal Air Force plays:

Pavan Sicut Aquilae - Robert Wiffin ~ 1954)- (Specially composed to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain)

Solemn Melody - Henry Walford Davies (1869-1941) - orchestrated by Denis Wright (1895-1967)

The Lord Mayor of Westminster is received at the Great West Door by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster and is conducted to his stall in the Quire. All stand, and then sit.

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, is received at the Great West Door by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster. All remain seated.

His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, also Representing Her Majesty The Queen is received at the Great West Door by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster All stand.

Presentations are made.


All remain standing as the Collegiate Procession, together with Their Royal Highnesses, moves from the West End of the Abbey to places in the Quire and Sacrarium.

The Ensign of the Royal Air Force and The Queen's Colour for the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom are then borne through the church, presented, and laid upon the High Altar, during which the Band plays:

Fanfare to the Royal Air Force - R E C Davies (1920-95)

Fanfare for the Queen's Colour - R K Wiffin

Fanfare on the Royal Air Force Call - R F O'Donnell (1885-1961)

Ensign Bearer:

Flight Lieutenant

M R Lea, RAF


Flight Lieutenant T E Owen, RAF

Flight Lieutenant P N Munns, RAF

Colour Bearer:

Flight Lieutenant

M P Cholerton, RAF


Sergeant B Mannion, RAF Sergeant C Mears, RAF

Colour Warrant Officer

Warrant Officer

B Cunningham, RAF

All sing


GOD save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen, God save the Queen. Send her victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us: God save the Queen.

Thesaurus Musicus (c 1743) - arranged by Gordon Jacob (1895-1984)

All remain standing. The Very Reverend Dr Wesley Carr, Dean of Westminster, says


IN the presence of almighty God we have gathered on this sixtieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain to give thanks once more for the liberty which that Battle preserved for us and the world. We remember with gratitude the dedication and heroism of members of the Royal Air Force and the allied air forces.

We affirm again our determination to put an end to all armed conflicts; we express our penitence for those occasions when they become necessary; and we acknowledge with sorrow the suffering and destruction they cause.

We pray for the Royal Air Force, that its power and skill may always be used to safeguard justice and peace. And we entreat God, that we may hold courageously to the values we profess, working untiringly in his service here on earth.

All remain standing to sing


PRAISE, my soul, the King of Heaven; to his feet thy tribute bring. Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, who like me his praise should sing? Praise him! Praise him! Praise the everlasting King. Praise him for his grace and favour to our fathers in distress; praise him still the same for ever, slow to chide, and swift to bless. Praise him! Praise him! Glorious in his faithfulness. Father-like, he tends and spares us; well our feeble frame he knows; in his hands he gently bears us, rescues us from all our foes. Praise him! Praise him! Widely as his mercy flows. Angels, help us to adore him; ye behold him face to face; sun and moon, bow down before him; dwellers all in time and space. Praise him! Praise him! Praise with us the God of grace.

Praise my soul 436 - H F Lyre (1793-1847)

John Goss (1800-80) Psalm 103

All sit. Air Commodore P M Brothers, CBE, DSO, DFC*, reads from the Nave Pulpit

ISAIAH 40: 27-31

WHY do you say, 0 Jacob, and speak, 0 Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

All remain seated. The Choir sings

PSALM 68:1-6, 19-20

LET God arise, and let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.

Like as the smoke vanisheth, so shalt thou drive them away: and like as wax melteth at the fire, so let the ungodly perish at the presence of God.

But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God: let them also be merry and joyful.

O sing unto God, and sing praises unto his name: magnify him that rideth upon the heavens, as it were upon an horse; praise him in his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

He is a Father of the fatherless, and defendeth the cause of the widows: even God in his holy habitation.

He is the God that maketh men to be of one mind in an house, and bringeth the prisoners out of captivity: but letteth the runagates continue in scarceness.

Praised be the Lord daily: even the God who helpeth us, and poureth his benefits upon us.

He is our God, even the God of whom cometh salvation: God is the Lord, by whom we escape death.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.

All remain seated. Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire, KCB, DFC, AFC, ADC, RAF, Chief of the Air Staff reads from the Quire Lectern

ST JOHN 15:9-17

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.

All remain seated. Flight Lieutenant K A Gambold RAF, reads a personal reflection from the Nave Pulpit:

AT 500 miles per hour and three miles above the earth, a bomber crosses into hostile air space. But the enemy knows we are coming and information on scrambling fighters floods the airwaves.

Two minutes from the target, the first streaks of light flash across the sky and radio calls "break left break left" send a chill through the cockpit as a carpet of anti-aircraft fire rises to meet the aircraft. The next few minutes are a blur of flak, detonations and frantic radio transmissions. Then, just as suddenly as the noise began, an eerie quiet descends. The aircraft is on its way home, task completed; its crew shaken but intact.

Speed apart, this could easily be the transcript from a bomber sortie in 1940. It is in fact my own memories of a sortie over Former Yugoslavia during Operation Allied Force last year.

Today we give thanks for the success of the Royal Air Force in a different battle - The Battle of Britain. In the summer of 1940 the task facing the Royal Air Force was clearly stated by Winston Churchill:

"The Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. The whole fury and might of the enemy must be very soon turned upon us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad sunlit uplands."

Well, the Royal Air Force did stand up to Hitler, and his Luftwaffe, and we acknowledge the debt owed by this nation and the civilized world to "The Few". Their victory not only turned the tide of war but also provided a lasting inspiration for successive generations.

Over the past 60 years the Royal Air Force has continued to provide loyal service, in peace, in crisis, and in war. While the circumstances of these operations have been very different from those in 1940, the aircrew have all experienced the same emotions that warriors have always faced - uncertainty and self doubt, adrenaline and fear, not just for themselves, but a dread of letting one of their colleagues down.

We, the men and women of today's Royal Air Force continue to meet the challenges we are set. Behind us lies the commitment that was forged during the "finest hour", one of comradeship and trust, of self- sacrifice and a sense of pride in the Service and its role in the defence of Britain and her interests. The spirit then shown by "The Few" we strive for now, and our successors will seek tomorrow.

You, the veterans of the Second World War, gave us that example. We, the guardians of freedom today, thank you for it. To that service we rededicate ourselves, on this the sixtieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

All stand. The Battle of Britain Roll of Honour is borne from the Chapel of St George to the Sacrarium, escorted by veterans of the Battle of Britain, during which the Band plays:

March Theme from The Battle of Britain - William Walton - arranged by Barrie Hingley

Honorary Steward:

Group Captain

David Bolton, RAF (Retd

Roll Bearer:

Flight Lieutenant

T J Freeman, RAF


Air Commodore P M Brothers, CBE, DSO, DFC*

Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris GCB, DSO, OBE

Wing Commander P P C Barthropp, DFC, AFC - Group Captain J Cunningham, CBE, DSO**, DFC*

Wing CommanderT F Neil, DFC*, AFC - Wing CommanderR G B Summers, OBE, Ostj, AFM

Wing Commander I R C Young, AFC - Wing Commander P L Parrott, DFC*, AFC

Flight Lieutenant R Webb-Dicken, RAF - Flight Lieutenant S Rawnsley, RAF

Flight Lieutenant G J Evans, RAF - Flight Lieutenant II Knott, RAF

Flight Lieutenant B Wilson, RAF - Flight Lieutenant I R Dunning, RAF

Flight Lieutenant R S Hooper, RAF - Flight Lieutenant N D Stanton, RAF

All remain standing. The Dean leads


ALMIGHTY God, into your hands we commend the souls of those who laid down their lives for the cause of freedom; praying that you would grant them the joys of your eternal kingdom, and, to all who mourn them, fortitude of spirit and constant faith in the power of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

All sit. The Choir sings


by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

We praise thee, 0 God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord. All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.

To thee all angels cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therein.

To thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth; Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.

The glorious company of the apostles praise thee. The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee.

The noble army of martyrs praise thee.

The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee, the Father, of an infinite majesty;

Thine honourable, true, and only Son, Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.

Thou art the King of Glory, 0 Christ; thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.

When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.

When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.

We believe that thou shalt come to be our Judge.

We therefore pray thee, help thy servants, whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.

Make them to be numbered with thy saints, in glory everlasting. O Lord, save thy people, and bless thine heritage: govern them and lift them up for ever.

Day by day we magnify thee, and we worship thy Name ever world without end.

Vouchsafe, 0 Lord, to keep us this day without sin: 0 Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.

O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us, as our trust is in thee:

0 Lord, in thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded.

All remain seated for



The Right Reverend John Kirkham

Bishop to the Forces

All stand to sing

He would valiant be,'gainst all disaster, let him in constancy follow the master. there's no discouragement shall make him once relent his first avowed intent to be a pilgrim. Whoso beset him round with dismal stories, do but themselves confound, his strength the more is. No foes shall stay his might, though he with giants fight, he will make good his right be a pilgrim. Since, Lord, thou dost defend us with thy spirit; we know we at the end shall life inherit. Then, fancies, fly away! I'll not fear what men say, I'll labour night and day to be a pilgrim.

Monks Gate 212 AMNS - John Bunyan (1628-88)

adapted from an English traditional melody by R Vaughan Williams

All kneel or sit for


The Reverend John Townend, Chaplain and Sacrist of Westminster Abbey, says:

LET us thank God for all his gifts to us; for his creation; for the revelation of his self-giving love in Jesus Christ; and for every opportunity to serve him, and others, for his sake.

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us.

LET us thank God for our freedom, recalling with thanksgiving the courage of those who in war served the cause of liberty; let us remember before God all who gave their lives so that we might be free.

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us.

LET us give thanks for the service rendered in peace and in conflict to the peoples of this and other countries by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us.

Jenny Green, OBE, President of the Royal Air Force Widows' Association, continues:

LET us pray for all who suffer today from exploitation, greed or cruelty; and for those who live where there is war or the threat of violence.

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us.

LET us pray for world leaders and for all whose influence affects the course of world events: that they may act with wisdom, discernment and integrity.

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us.

LET us pray for all who still bear the marks of war in body, mind or spirit; and for all who assist them, especially the Royal Air Forces Association, the Royal Air Force Widows' Association, the War Widows' Association of Great Britain and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us.

LET us pray for all who serve today in the Royal Air Force and the Forces of the Crown; and let us remember especially those whose duty places them in danger.

Lord, hear us: Lord, graciously hear us.

The Chaplain and Sacrist continues:

A S we look for the coming of God's kingdom, let us pray in faith and trust:

All say together:

OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

All stand to sing


during which a collection is takenfor the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and the Royal Air Forces Association

ALL my hope on God is founded; he doth still my trust renew. Me through change and chance he guideth, only good and only true. God unknown, He alone Calls my heart to be his own.

God's great goodness aye endureth, deep his wisdom, passing thought: splendour, light and life attend him, beauty springeth out of naught. Evermore from his store New-born worlds rise and adore.

Daily doth th' Almighty giver bounteous gifts on us bestow; his desire our soul delighteth, pleasure leads us where we go. Love doth stand at his hand; joy doth wait on his command.

Still from man to God eternal Sacrifice of praise be done, High above all praises praising for the gift of Christ his Son. Christ doth call One and all: Ye who follow shall not fall.

Michael 333 NEH - Herbert Howells (1892~1983)

All remain standing for


The Dean says:

WErededicate ourselves to building a world in which there is justice and peace for all, and where women, men, and children live a life of full human dignity.

All say together:

LORD God our Father, we pledge ourselves to serve you and all people in the cause of justice and peace, and for the relief of want and suffering. Guide us by your Spirit; give us wisdom, courage, vision, hope;and keep us faithful to our caring now and always, for the honour of your name. Amen.

All remain standing The Dean says


GOD grant to the living grace; to the departed rest; to the Church, The Queen, the Commonwealth and all mankind, peace and concord, and to us sinners, eternal life; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.

All remain standing for




The Ensign of the Royal Air Force and The Queen's Colour for the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom are returned to the Ensign Party and the Colour Party, during which the Band plays:

Fanfare for the Ensign of the Royal Air Force - Barrie Hingley

The Royal Air Force March Past - Henry Walford Davies and George Dyson (1883-1964)

The processions move from the Quire and Sacrarium.

Music after the service:

Coronation March - Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) from Le Prophete arranged by Barrie Hingley

Members of the Congregation

are kindly requested to remain in their seats

until invited to move by the Stewards.

At 12.30 p.m. a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight from RAF Coningsby will approach from the Thames and overfly the Abbey. Weather permitting, it is expected that the Spitfire will make two circuits of the Abbey.

The bells of the Abbey church are rung at 12.30 p. m. by the St Paul's Guild of Ringers.

The Royal Air Force Memorial Chapel, at the far eastern end of the Abbey church, will be available after the service until 1.00 p. m. for all who wish to visit it.


The picture of the Hurricane is courtesy of Stan Stokes. The other pictures are from Liz Carver.

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