Closing ceremony for Bentley Priory

Veterans watching the fly past. PICTURE; Simon de Tery-White.

History takes to the air over Stanmore. PICTURE: Simon deTrey-White.

First published in News by

TWO fighter planes flew over RAF Bentley Priory on Thursday evening as part of a closing ceremony for the base.

The base, which is currently home to the Defence Aviation Safety Centre, Air Historical Branch and Ceremonial and Protical Branch, is due to relocate all its units to RAF Northolt in February next year.

The closing ceremony, which included a flying display by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, was marked by a dinner held by Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sir Glenn Torpy.

ACM Sir Glenn Torpy said: "There is obvious sadness that the RAF's operational use of Bentley Priory is coming to an end. It was identified well before the outbreak of Would War Two as an ideal location for the Headquarters of Fighter Command by Air Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding. But the building is no longer required as moves are in place to collocate RAF functions in Greater London at RAF Northolt."

He added: "But we shall be very careful that the heritage aspects will be preserved for future generations."

The RAF base was the Fighter Command's headquarters when Britain fought a four-month battle in World War Two, losing 550 men.

Squadron Leader Bam' Bamburger, who has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, is battling cancer, but said he wouldn't have missed the ceremony. He said: "I am currently having radiotherapy for my cancer and my doctors and my wife didn't want me to go. But I knew this would probably be the last time I would see the people I flew with in the war so I wanted to go and it was well worth it."

The historic air base and its gardens will be opened to the public after the relocation.

Click here to see a slideshow of images form the event.

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