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“Allied Air Forces Memorial” Represented at Remembrance Ceremonies

The Remembrance Season heralds a hectic period of activity for the Allied Air Forces Memorial and Yorkshire Air Museum as we support many Services of Remembrance in UK and abroad, ahead of hosting our own two ceremonies at Elvington’s French Memorial, honouring the unique French Squadrons as well as air services of all allied nations at the Museum’s Station Chapel on Remembrance Sunday itself.

The period began on November 6th with the annual memorial event for the Yorkshire French squadrons at the Cathedral of Saint Louis in Les Invalides in central Paris (home to the tomb of Napoleon). On November 10th, museum staff travel to London to meet with the contingent from the French Veterans Association, Groupes Lourds, plus French Embassy and diplomatic representatives and other French organisations, during which they will attend ceremonies and lay wreaths at the RAF Bomber Command Memorial, Hyde Park, London, followed the next day November 11th at the French National Cemetery at Brookwood in Surrey and the Marchal Foch National Memorial in Central London during a busy schedule. This year the unique new “Allied Air Forces Memorial & Yorkshire Air Museum” wreath, made to reflect Allied, French and British colours, and produced by the Poppy Factory in Richmond, Surrey, will be laid.

Back at Elvington, the annual Remembrance Sunday Services on November 13th will be held at the French Memorial, Elvington Village, at 11:00am and at the Yorkshire Air Museum’s Station Chapel at 13:30pm. Hundreds of people will be attending including the Groupes Lourds contingent with some 26 people including WWll veterans making the trip from France. Also attending will be diplomatic representatives and those of the Royal Air Force, and air forces from France, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia. HM The Queen will be represented by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, North Yorkshire, Brigadier Nigel Woods.

With the centenaries of the WW1 Battles being commemorated this year it is poignant that the Service will begin with a short verse by Monsieur Paul Bogaert Museum Vice President and head of the French squadrons association, whose English grandfather fought at the Battle of the Somme and his French grandfather fought at the Battle of Verdun during 1916 and battles in which over 2 million British and French soldiers were killed. 

In an extra touch to these special events, six British D - Day Normandy Veterans will be awarded the Légion d’Honneur at the Museum Chapel at 13:30 on behalf of the President of France by the French Consul, Mr. Jeremy Burton, in recognition of their Service on and during the D-Day Invasion campaign of June 1944. The service will be followed by the Wreath Laying ceremony in the Memorial Garden. Visitors to the Museum are welcome to join us as we honour the memory of the fallen in the World Wars and other conflicts.

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