CORNWALL, Ontario – In a ceremony steeped in tradition, members of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in Cornwall on Sunday.
Dozens of dignitaries, veterans, cadets, and community members lined up to pay tribute to the crucial aerial conflict at the RCAF Association Wing #424 building on Water Street.
“As we reach this commemorative milestone, The Few, as Churchill would later call them, are fewer still,” said Sqn. Ldr. Drew Anderson, the ceremony’s chief speaker. “However, their indomitable spirit, courage, dedication, and determination continues to serve as a reminder of the high price paid for freedom. of the more than 29,000 British, Commonwealth, and allied aircrew that took part in the battle, one in three of these young men was either killed or wounded.”
The Scotland native is currently stationed in Ottawa on an exchange posting working with the Canadian Department of National Defence.
The Battle of Britain took place through the summer and fall of 1940, and the airmen whom former Prime Minister Winston Churchill dubbed “The Few” comprised 2,353 pilots and air crew from Great Britain and 574 from overseas. More than 100 Canadians are deemed to have participated in the Battle of Britain, and 23 lost their lives.
For an in-depth history on the battle, visit www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/battle-britain/history.page.
For those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, Cornwall Coun. Justin Towndale presented a certificate of commemoration to Don Ross, president of the RCAF Association Wing #424.
“Many of those brave airmen came from across the Commonwealth, including Canada, and we know of one who was from Cornwall. Squadron Leader Walter Keddy. He lost his life on January 17, 1942 while returning to England,” said Towndale.