MEMBERS of the Stourbridge branch of the RAF Association mustered in Mary Stevens Park this morning (Friday September 15) to mark Battle of Britain Day.

Small in numbers but strong in their convictions, four former Royal Air Force veterans turned out to lay a wreath at the war memorial in the Norton park in honour of those who took part in the large scale aerial battle, known as the Battle of Britain, on September 15 1940.

The momentous clash, which was hailed as a victory for the British RAF over the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), was described as the first major military campaign fought entirely by air forces and has been celebrated annually in the UK ever since.

In Stourbridge, former RAF servicemen William Webb, aged 95, a Second World War veteran; Sydney Partridge, aged 88, and Ray Davies, aged 87, who both completed two years’ of National Service with the RAF; and Reverend Tom Chapman, aged 83, who was an accountant in the RAF for 22-and-a-half years, turned out to pay their respects.

After giving a brief service at the cenotaph at 11am, Rev Chapman, who was an RAF flight sergeant, said although the Stourbridge branch was now few in numbers it was important to remember those who lost their lives that day as well as past and present members of the Royal Air Force.

Despite dwindling membership - he said the Stourbridge RAFA continues to hold regular meetings on the second Tuesday of every month and monthly luncheons.

Members of Dudley RAF Association will be out in Stourbridge this Saturday collecting for the annual RAF Wings Appeal which raises funds to support serving and former serving RAF personnel and their families when they are in need.