RAF Coningsby remembers the Battle of Britain 80 years on

Royal Air Force Coningsby celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain by planting the first of 80 memorial trees.

Representatives from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire County Council, BAE Systems and The Woodland Trust attending the tree planting ceremony. Image Sgt Paul Oldfield

The tree was planted by the Station Commander, Group Captain Matt Peterson, on the anniversary of the most celebrated day of the Battle, 15 September.

This recalls the day in 1940 when the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany was defeated in its largest attack on London.

The tree-planting project is a collaboration between RAF Coningsby, BAE Systems, The Woodland Trust, and Lincolnshire County Council.

Padre Hake blesses the tree. Image Sgt Paul Oldfield

Group Captain Peterson said: “Today we have planted the first of 80 trees that will eventually form a memorial to our forebears who fought in the Battle of Britain.

“The 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain will probably be the last opportunity we have to commemorate the Battle within the lifetime of some of those who were directly involved.

“The memorial, like this anniversary, will allow commemoration and celebration, but also an opportunity to inform and to educate, in tandem with the magnificent Battle of Britain Memorial Flight here at Royal Air Force Coningsby.

“In supporting us to this point, and also for their ongoing help as we bring this project to fruition, I’m very grateful for the assistance we have received from our colleagues at The Woodland Trust, BAE Systems, and Lincolnshire County Council.”

The newly planted tree was blessed by RAF Coningsby Station Padre, the Rev (Wing Commander) Ruth Hake.