The RAF are planning for the annual Battle of Britain Thanksgiving Service at Westminster Abbey each September to continue in perpetuity.
The surviving Battle of Britain airmen form a nucleus around which the service is conducted but it is obviously prudent to prepare for a time when there will be an insufficient number of able-bodied veterans to fulfil this role.
The service is open to all-comers though tickets must be applied for in advance. There is a sizeable contingent of relatives of living and deceased veterans and the RAF are keen for this number to be increased. By definition the whereabouts of all relatives are unknown and the RAF have to rely on relatives coming forward and making contact.
Relatives are issued with distinctive tickets to enable them to congregate in the same part of the Abbey.
It is now accepted practice for the spouse or a close relative of a deceased war veteran to wear his or her medals on such an occasion. The only difference is that the medals are worn on the wearer’s right hand side i.e. on the left when looking at the wearer.
For details on applying for tickets for the 2013 Thanksgiving Service click here