PICTURES: Hundreds line streets as Banbury honours Battle of Britain heroes

Hundreds of people lined the streets as Banbury honoured the country's Battle of Britain heroes yesterday (Sunday, September 17).

Monday, 18th September 2017, 1:34 pm
Updated Monday, 18th September 2017, 1:37 pm
The Banbury Air Cadets band. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132640001

A military and civic parade marched from Broad Street, up High Street, around The Cross into Horsefair and then to St Mary’s Church for a memorial service.

Afterwards the parade marched back down High Street for the salute opposite the bandstand with hundreds watching the procession to pay their respects.

Banbury is one of the few towns to organise an annual tribute to those who died in the battle, which is run by the town council.

Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132628001

Council leader Kieron Mallon said: “We must never forget the airmen of the Royal Air Force who fought the Battle of Britain.

“Winston Churchill said at the time – ‘never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few’ – and in Banbury we will continue to honour their memory.”

The battle was fought in the skies above southern England in the summer and autumn of 1940 and the RAF’s defeat of the Luftwaffe was a major factor in preventing Hitler from invading England.

Banbury played a crucial role in the battle as the town’s former aluminium factory, known as ‘the ally,’ was the only place in England that produced metal for the manufacture of RAF aircraft, including Spitfires and Lancaster bombers.

Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132727001

To protect the plant from air raids, the factory was camouflaged to look like open fields and a fake one was built three miles north of Banbury to mislead German bombers, which was known as the ‘dummy ally.’

Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132738001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132749001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132617001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132538001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132506001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132517001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132527001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132628001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132727001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132738001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132749001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132617001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132538001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132506001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132517001
Battle of Britain parade in Banbury. Photo: Banbury Town Council NNL-170918-132527001