On Sunday, September 16, 2018, Royal Canadian Legion Coldwater Branch President, Betty-Jean Murray, and Branch Vice-President, Norm Marion, took part in the annual Battle of Britain parade downtown Barrie. The event, which marked the 78th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, was organized by members of RCAF 441 (Huronia) Wing, 16 Wing Borden, and the City of Barrie. The parade saw a wide spectrum of participants including current members of the Canadian Forces, Veterans, First Responders and several groups of Air Cadets. Comrades Murray and Marion laid a wreath on behalf of the Coldwater Branch at the Barrie Cenotaph during the ceremony. They also laid a wreath back at the Coldwater Cenotaph later in the day.
The Battle of Britain is widely recognized as one of the greatest air battles of all times, and is considered by many to be the turning point of the Second World War. It was fought between July 10 and October 31, 1940, over the southern part of England and the English Channel. It was during this battle that a relatively small group of pilots and airmen from Commonwealth and Allied countries turned the tide on Hitler’s plan for the invasion of Great Britain. Throughout that period, more than one hundred Canadian pilots served with various units of Fighter Command of the Royal Air Force. The Battle of Britain is especially significant for Canada’s Air Force heritage since it was during that battle that the RCAF received its baptism by fire.
Battle of Britain Sunday is celebrated yearly to commemorate the point in the battle when Fighter Command delivered such a punishing blow to the Luftwaffe that Hitler decided to postpone indefinitely his planned invasion of Great Britain. The crucial outcome of this confrontation was immortalized by Sir Winston Churchill when he stated, “never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."