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Poignant ceremony to honour airmen

RAF Boulmer personnel, veterans and two Royal Australian Air Force officers at the memorial after the Anzac Day ceremony.

RAF Boulmer personnel, veterans and two Royal Australian Air Force officers at the memorial after the Anzac Day ceremony.

A ceremony to remember brave airmen who lost their lives in the Second World War was held at Chevington Cemetery on Sunday.

Organised by the Newcastle branch of the RAF Association, the service honoured the 10 servicemen from Australia and New Zealand who are buried at the site.

The service, held on the Sunday nearest to Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day – a public holiday in these two countries – is one of only half a dozen which take place in the UK.

Veterans from the RAF Association were joined by serving officers and airmen from RAF Boulmer for the ceremony. Members of the Royal British Legion, representatives of Northumberland County Council, East Chevington Parish Council, the Air Training Corps and local residents also attended.

Wreaths were laid and the Last Post was played. The Roll of Honour was read and the grave of each Anzac airman was honoured with a poppy cross.

Sydney Graham, Newcastle branch chairman and organiser of the ceremony, said he was pleased with how the service went. He added: “We had more than 130 people, including some visitors from Australia, turn up despite the wet weather, which was quite amazing really.

“We in this country will always be grateful to these chaps who came to fight on our behalf and laid down their lives.

“We are grateful to the veterans, service personnel and the members of the public who turned out in the bad weather to honour the memory of these brave men.

“The people living in the Hadston and Chevington areas tend to regard these lads buried in the cemetery as more or less their own and a lot of residents from the surrounding villages came along, quite spontainiously, including two ladies who turned up and laid bunches of flowers, which was nice to see and very touching.”

 

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