Henley Standard Property
HOME

Date:

Order your copy Advertise with us! HENLEY PAGES
Delivering the news from Henley on Thames and South Oxfordshire for over 100 years
  News     Sport    Celebrity   What's On Regulars Community Info Henley Standard TV Lifestyle Property Jobs Classifieds Gallery Trade
                               Follow us    Follow us    Newsfeed Search the Henley Standard  
75th birthday of RAF base
Published 12/05/14



THOUSANDS of people enjoyed celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of RAF Benson.

Personnel from the base and the Central Band of the Royal Air Force marched through Benson on Sunday morning to St Helen’s Church, where a service was held.

In the afternoon stalls were set up around the playing field in Sunnyside and Merlin and Puma helicopters from the base landed. Families were then able to look inside the aircraft.

A Winston Churchill lookalike gave a rousing version of the former Prime Minister’s famous “Finest Hour” speech, which he delivered in June 1940 as the country prepared for the Battle of Britain. Then an air raid siren went off.

The climax of the day was a fly-past by a Spitfire, which performed four laps of the fields. The fighter aircraft was based at the station in 1944.


Gp Capt Nigel Colman, station commander at RAF Benson, said: “It was wonderful to see hundreds of our neighbours lining the streets as we paraded through Benson for only the second time in recent memory.

“We are honoured by the support that both Benson and Ewelme have shown the station over the past 75 years.

“This event was about coming together to celebrate our shared history and I believe it definitely achieved that, with somewhere in the region of 2,000 people enjoying the afternoon with us at Sunnyside. The whole spectrum of RAF Benson heritage was on display, with vintage vehicles, historical archives and even Winston Churchill as well as our fantastic helicopters taking centre stage and, of course, the wonderful music from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.

“The stunning Spitfire display was the perfect way to close such a fantastic event, which I’m sure will be in our memories for years to come.” RAF Benson was opened in 1939 and during the Second World War was the home of an experimental unit that carried out photographic reconnaissance over enemy territory.

Spitfire pilots found their speed enabled them to avoid interception and their camouflage and height rendered them virtually invisible. It was a pilot from this unit who spotted the Bismarck near Bergen in May 1941.

After the war the Queen’s Flight was located at Benson until 1995 when it moved to RAF Northolt. Today, the base is a frontline support base working within the Joint Helicopter Command.

Published 12/05/14

MOST POPULAR
New plan for family archive at Friar Park
Homeless man leaves Henley
Motorcyclist killed in lorry collision
Shops for sale
Woman switched labels to claim refunds
River legacy behind winning Christmas card
The Station House re-opens
Doc Martin stars at Dorchester Abbey concert
LATEST NEWS HEADLINES
Living Advent Day 5: Down by the Riverside
Local firms behind Sue Ryder minibus donation
Plans for third Chelsea Fringe announced
Santa Sleigh visiting Henley this week
Hospice helped me cope with losing parents
Henley parties on in the cold
Henley College welcomes new principal
Living Advent Day4: Buble fills Phyllis Court
Hard luck dogs star in charity calendar
Cuts threat to care of elderly
200 homes at pig farm
Budget agreed for expert defence of plan
Latest Video View more from   Henley Standard TV
ADVERTISE WITH US
LATEST SPORTS HEADLINES
Leander Club’s new captain named
The art of sport
Woolven gets GB call up
Henley’s junior quad lead way at Hampton
New stand completed
Top Videos
 
Most Popular
 
 
 
 
Higgs Group
HIGGS GROUP
Tel: 01491 419400
www.higgsgroup.co.uk
HENLEY PAGES
Tel: 01491 419419
www.henleypages.com
HIGGS PRINTING & DESIGN
Tel: 01491 419429
www.higgsprinting.co.uk
HIGGS OFFICE SUPPLIES
Tel: 01491 419499
www.higgsofficesupplies.co.uk
HENLEY LIFE MAGAZINE
Tel: 01491 419449
www.henleylife.co.uk
HIGGS GROUP, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1AD.

Cookie Policy | Copyright and Terms | Competition Rules | Contact Us | Advertise with us | Site Map
© Higgs & Co (Printers) Limited 2016  |  Registered in England number 1418717