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RAF’s 100 years celebrated

Veterans and current serving personnel enjoyed an evening of celebration for the RAF centenary last Saturday evening.

 

The event was held at RAFA Branch 381 in Waterloo Square in Bognor Regis to mark 100 years of the RAF and included entertainment from The Diamonds for dozens of guests.

 

Branch president Ron Flatt said: “I can’t think of any prouder moment in any ex-RAF man’s life than the one I hold this year.

 

“Think about what I am about to say, of all the presidents in the past and all the presidents of the future, I am going to be the only one who is here for our 100th year.

 

“We have an awful lot going on throughout the whole of the 12 months and I beg you to keep your eye on the local papers and the notice boards. We need your support that we think the 100 years deserve.

 

“If any of the upcoming functions are as well attended as this one is tonight, we are going to finish up in 12 months’ time as a very proud club.”

 

Among the guests of the evening was Jack Tucker-Hawkins, who was an engine fitter in the RAF during the World War Two.

 

Jack said: “A lot of people gave up their lives so we could be here today, so it’s important we celebrate this milestone. It’s been a wonderful evening.

 

“When I was about 18, they asked on the radio for people who were good with their hands and my mother said it was just up my street. I thought, as I would get called up before long, I may as well volunteer.

 

“I was lucky, I had a wonderful war. I came through unscathed so I suppose my memories are coloured by that.”

 

David Evers and his wife of 50 years, Anne, also attended the evening. David was in the merchant service and both Anne’s parents were in the Royal Observer corps.

 

David said: “It’s important to remember what the RAF have done for us and our country. It’s our heritage.”

 

Anne agreed, saying: “The younger generations can appreciate it with events like this. People need to remember.”

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