RAF Marks Battle Of Britain In Bermuda

September 16, 2017

RAF airmen yesterday [Sept 15] marked the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Britain at the Royal Bermuda Regiment’s Warwick Camp headquarters.

The RAF contingent – the service’s boxing team – is on the island to take part in an international military boxing event at the Berkeley Institute gym tonight.

RAF Group Captain Patrick O’Donnell and his team joined RBR soldiers for a ceremony on Warwick Camp’s parade square to mark the day of the massive 1940 air battle after which Nazi Germany realised they could not win air supremacy over Britain and cancelled plans to invade.

The ceremony was also attended by boxers from the Jamaica Defence Force and cadets from the US Naval Academy, who will also take part in the Berkeley fight night.

The RAF boxing team mark Battle of Britain Day at Warwick Camp alongside soldiers of the RBR

RAF airmen Bermuda Sept 15 2017 (1)

Group Captain O’Donnell said the ceremony also marked Bermuda’s contribution in two World Wars and the servicemen from the island who never came home.

He added: “While we were here, we thought we should acknowledge Bermuda’s contribution in treasure and blood in the First and Second World Wars with our annual homage to those who gave their lives in the Battle of Britain.”

And he singled out Bermudian RAF Flying Officer Grant Ede, who was killed in June, 1943 in the Battle of Norway.

Group Captain O’Donnell said: “It’s really important to the military from the UK, on the rare occasions we make visits to Bermuda, to mark the contribution the island has always made in our time of need and to pay our respects to the Royal Bermuda Regiment who are our brothers-in-arms.”

He added the airmen, in addition to training for Saturday’s fights, had visited the ex-RAF base on Darrell’s Island and the former Royal Naval Dockyard and island schools.

The RAF ensign is hoisted as the RAF boxing squad commemorate Battle of Britain Day

RAF airmen Bermuda Sept 15 2017 (2)

He added: “It would be a crime if we came here and all our guys left with was an understanding of the gyms and the beaches.”

And he said: “Bermudians have been so friendly and the Regiment has given us levels of hospitality beyond our expectations. The boxing team are quite young and for them to come somewhere like this, not just to box but to visit four different schools to provide leadership exercises has been fantastic.”

“Things genuinely could not have gone better and we hope tomorrow’s show will be a great event.”

RBR Major Ben Beasley, a former RAF officer before he returned home, added: “This is a huge event for us and the fact the RAF shared such a solemn occasion with the RBR is incredible.

“We continue our strong links with the British military – including the operation we’re on now, flying out to Turks & Caicos with the RAF and being resupplied by the Royal Navy.”

Major Beasley added that the Berkeley event would also be used to collect donations for hurricane relief in the Caribbean, where Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc.

Some tickets for the event are still available at ptix.bm/boxing or from the RBR HQ at Warwick Camp. Headquarters can be contacted on 238 1045.

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