Historic first for Norwich at Battle of Britain parade

An RAF squadron leader will make history when she becomes the first female officer to command Norwich's Battle of Britain parade.Amanda Martin-Smith will take command of the parade on the steps of City Hall on Monday, September 14, before a symbolic Spitfire flypast.

An RAF squadron leader will make history when she becomes the first female officer to command Norwich's Battle of Britain parade.

Amanda Martin-Smith will take command of the parade on the steps of City Hall on Monday, September 14, before a symbolic Spitfire flypast.

The event marks the start of Battle of Britain Week, when the nation commemorates the Battle of Britain and remembers those who served and who are still serving in the RAF.

September 14 also sees a parade and flypast at the war memorial in King's Lynn's Tower Gardens.


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Sqn Ldr Martin-Smith said: "I am incredibly honoured to command the Battle of Britain Parade in Norwich.

'We are proud to celebrate our heritage and recognise the bravery and sacrifices made by the aircrew and all the support personnel who contributed to air operations in WWII."

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Sqn Ldr Martin-Smith, originally from a Devon-based service family, completed her RAF Officer training at RAF Cranwell in 1996 after graduating from Exeter University with a degree in physics.

She has recently returned from an operational deployment in Afghanistan where she was the Operations Wing Executive Officer within the NATO Headquarters at Kandahar Airfield.

Sqn Ldr Martin-Smith will be joined in the Parade by the Band of the Royal Air Force College Cranwell, two flights of RAF Marham's Station Ceremonial Squadron and the Standards of II(AC) Squadron, IX(B) Squadron, XIII Squadron and 31 Squadron.

Battle of Britain Week commemorates the RAF's defeat of the German air assault which was intended to destroy Britain's defences prior to an invasion. The thin blue line of Spitfires and Hurricanes fought off the Luftwaffe, and the invasion never came.

A Wings Appeal is run throughout the week to raise money for ex service personnel in need by the Royal Air Force Association.

The Norwich parade will commence at 11.50am before the steps of City Hall, St Peter's Street, after a short performance by the band. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight based at RAF Coningsby, Lincs, will provide the fly past at 12 noon with a lone Spitfire approaching from the east over Norwich Castle.

The Lynn parade gets under way in Tower gardens, off St James's Street, at 10.45am, with a fly past at 11.409am.

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