In memory of the fallen

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A POIGNANT ceremony to commemorate fallen heroes took place on Sunday.

Serving members of the Royal Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force, veterans and residents attended an ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day memorial event at Chevington Cemetery.

The annual ceremony, organised by the Newcastle Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, is held to honour the memory of the airmen of Australia and New Zealand who, having died on active service during Second World War, are buried in the war graves at Chevington.

Squadron Leader Sean Gell of the Royal Australian Air Force is currently serving at RAF Boulmer and he was honoured to represent his country at the ceremony. 

He said: “I was impressed by the efforts of the Royal Air Forces Association.

“I am very grateful to all who commemorate this occasion, especially as the airmen of Australia and New Zealand are so far away from home.”

Squadron Leader Sarah O’Donnell and Flying Officer Sam Warren represented the Royal Air Force and RAF Boulmer’s Padre, Squadron Leader Paul Rennie led the prayers. 

Wreaths were laid on behalf of the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal Air Force, the Royal Air Forces Association and the local community.

Cadets of 1110 Squadron placed poppy crosses on the ANZAC graves as the Role of Honour was read.

Chairman of East Chevington Parish Council, Coun Scott Dickinson, attended the event.

He said: “It gave me great pleasure to represent the council and it was an honour to be invited.

“I am extremely pleased that they had such a good turn out and the event was really well organised.

“Everyone involved should be very proud of themselves.”