Barrow on the march to commemorate the Battle of Britain

17 September 2017 7:06PM

PEOPLE lined the streets of Barrow this morning to watch the parade held to remember the Battle of Britain.

The march, which set off from Barrow town hall to the cenotaph to mark the 77th anniversary, was led by local members of the RAF and veterans, alongside air cadets and town representatives.

They set off at 11.30am, moving down Abbey Road to Barrow Park for a short remembrance service before moving back down the road and finishing at the Royal British Legion in Holker Street.

Michael Garnett, President of Barrow's Royal Air Force Association branch, said: "It is a brilliant day for the march, the sun is shining.

Play video

"I'm looking forward to the march and then having a drink to remember the lads that fought in the Battle of Britain and I'm sure they would have done just the same."

Mayor Tony Callister was proud to be involved in the march.

He said: "It is a day of celebrations. Everyone is feeling very proud.

"We are recognising the history and remembering a special time.

"There is definitely a strong feeling of remembrance among the people."

The march in Barrow was not the only one taking place, all major towns were holding similar remembrances.

Barrow Blitz

Although far north from where the majority of German bombing took place, Barrow did not escape unscathed from the Second World War.

The town's steelworks and dockyards were strategic targets for the Luftwaffe, and throughout 1941 many raids took place trying to smash the town's industry.

More than 10,000 houses were destroyed during the Barrow Blitz, an estimated 25 per cent of the town's stock.

Barrow's Air Ace

The previous year, 1940, one of Barrow's sons took to the air to intercept the German aircraft sweeping in over the south of England.

Ken Wilkinson, who died in August aged 99, was one of the last surviving veterans of the Battle of Britain.

Mr Wilkinson flew Spitfires in the RAF. Based in East Anglia he was charged, like many others, with protecting the vital factories of the East Midlands from destruction.

Speaking on his time as a pilot, Mr Wilkinson said: "I didn't carry any lucky charms, but I did wear a pair of my wife's knickers around my neck.

"And I was one of the lucky ones. I saw friends fall out of the sky, aircraft go up in flames ... terrible things."

Comment on this article

Generate a new code
Comments not OK? Click here to let us know
Read this..