Skip to main content

Barrie pays tribute to Battle of Britain heroes at flag-raising ceremony


Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association, including its Colour Guard, the 16 Wing Deputy Commander, and Barrie's mayor, took part in Monday's flag-raising ceremony to remember the significance of the Battle of Britain.

"As Winston Churchill had said, 'never in the world of human conflict have so many owed so much to so few,' and it's true," said retired Lt. -Col. Bill Sergeant with the Royal Canadian Air Force Association.

The Battle of Britain took place in the summer of 1940, and more than a hundred Canadians are believed to have participated - with close to 30 losing their lives.

"We had 112 Canadian pilots out of the 2,973 pilots that took part in the Battle of Britain on behalf of the Allies. We had 15 different commonwealths and other nations represented during that battle. There were over 1,300 pilots in total and aircrew because it wasn't just fighter command. We had bomber command and maritime command also involved in it," said Sergeant.

The 16 Wing Deputy Commander said this is a day to commemorate, but not only in a sombre way.

"I want to flip the coin on that. I want to say let's celebrate it, the 83rd anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and to celebrate just around the corner, the 100-year anniversary of the Centennial of the RCAF," said Lt.-Col. Terry Wong, 16 Wing Deputy Commander.

Barrie Mayor Alex Nutall declared the week of Sept. 11 as Battle of Britain week in the city to honour its significance.

"We as a city want to remember, want to commemorate and certainly highlight for both young and old that we're not a city that forgets, we're a city that remembers," said Nuttall.

In addition to Monday's event, a Battle of Britain memorial ceremony will be held on Sunday starting at 10 a.m. at Canadian Forces Base Borden. Top Stories

Stay Connected