Service personnel from RAF High Wycombe have paraded through the Buckinghamshire town of Princes Risborough with 'swords drawn, bayonets fixed, colours flying and bands playing'.
The RAF station was awarded the Freedom of Wycombe District in April 2011, and chose Princes Risborough as the town in which to exercise this freedom with a parade.
On Monday, 29 May, the townspeople came out in force to celebrate their connection with the station. A crowd of over 1,800, including 1,500 children from local schools, eagerly waved flags and cheered as the RAF Service personnel marched past.
The Mayor of Princes Risborough, Councillor Eunice Clifford, said:
I am bursting with pride. This is just wonderful. I just can’t tell you how proud I am.
The Station Commander, Group Captain Mark Heffron, said:
It is our honour and our privilege to defend you and work with you for the greater good of the community.
After the parade the crowd packed into St Mary’s Church where a quintet from the Central Band of the RAF lifted the congregation by performing pieces including ‘The Dambusters’ and ‘Jerusalem’.
The parade was part of the continuing partnership recently formalised by the signing of an Armed Forces Community Covenant between the RAF station and Wycombe District Council.