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Military personnel from Australia, US and Canada attend memorial service at Holmsley airfield in New Forest





AN annual memorial service to honour the tens of thousands of servicemen and women who worked at the 12 airfields in the New Forest during the Second World War was attended by military personnel from the US, Canada and Australia.

Officers from the US Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force and the Australian Army took part in the event at Holmsley over the weekend, which also remembered the civilian workers who supported the military during the war.

Attended by representatives from the Royal Air Force, veterans, cadets and civic leaders, the ceremony organised by the Friends of New Forest Airfields Association also paid tribute to those who were killed in battle.

The memorial at Holmsley was hosted by the Friends of the New Forest Airfields
The memorial at Holmsley was hosted by the Friends of the New Forest Airfields

The airfields are in Christchurch, Hurn, Sway, Lymington, Stoney Cross, Sopley, Winkton, Beaulieu, Calshot, Needs Oar Point, Holmsley, and Bisterne. The sites were involved heavily in the success of D-Day in June 1944.

Speaking at the service, RAF warrant officer Katie Mason said it gave everybody a “chance to reflect on the extraordinary events and people those many years ago and to show we still remember them”.

“We stand on the ground that nearly 80 years ago felt the weight of Mosquitos, Spitfires, Mustangs, Marauders, to name just a few.”

The service remembered tens of thousands of servicemen and women who worked at the 12 New Forest airfields during the Second World War
The service remembered tens of thousands of servicemen and women who worked at the 12 New Forest airfields during the Second World War

FONFA has a heritage centre in Mosquito Way, Bransgore, staffed by volunteers and which contains state-of-the-art interactive displays, information panels, original WWII artefacts, photographs, model dioramas, and many limited-edition prints, signed by servicemen and women who served on the airfields.

The centre opens twice a month between April and October, on the first and third Sundays of the month between 10am and 4pm.

The association is currently working on restoring the Holmsley memorial for the 80th anniversary of D-Day next year.

To help with the project or for more information about FONFA, email fonfa2010@gmail. com



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