A sombre sky hung over Battle of Britain wreath laying at the war memorial on Sunday but the threat of rain did not lessen the poignancy of the ceremony.
The event was held by the Royal Air Force Association to mark the beginning of Battle Of Britain Week and was attended by a mix of the generations. There were members of the ATC at the service and the standards of nine local veteran associations were presented.
The service was led by Fr Stephen Huggins, honorary chaplain, and Bexhill RAFA branch president Dick Whittington read the moving words of the Dedication - “In friendship and in service, one to another, we pledge to keep alive the memory of those of all nations who died in the Royal Air Force and in the Air Forces of the Commonwealth.
“In their name we give ourselves to this noble cause. Proudly and thankfully we will remember them.”
A two minutes silence was followed by prayers and the National Anthem.
Father Huggins said: “Just as we finished it poured down but then, this is England.”
He added: “You can see the importance of the service in people’s faces. And I thought it was interesting while the service was going on that you could hear everyone else around us doing their thing...some were out walking, some chatting, drinking a coffee outside, and there was music coming down from the De La Warr Pavilion with the angling festival going on there. I thought to myself it must have been like that during the Battle of Britain itself, with people up there fighting in the sky while on the ground others were just getting on with their lives.
“And after all, that is what they fought for - everyday life.”
There is a Thanksgiving service to mark the end of Battle of Britain Week at St Michael’s and All Angels church in Glassenbury Drive on Sunday September 15 at 12.15pm.
It will be attended by local dignitaries including Town Mayor Cllr Frances Winterborn and Deputy Mayor Cllr Brian Kentfield, as well as many local veteran associations.
The service will be followed by a reception in the Church Community Centre.