Queen’s Colour is Laid Up

The Queen’s Colour presented to RAF Halton in 1997 by Her Majesty the Queen has been laid up in St Michael’s Church in Halton village.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall presented a new Queen’s Colour to RAF Halton on 24 May 2017 whilst visiting the Station in her capacity as Honorary Air Commodore.  Colour bearer on the day was Deputy Squadron Commander of Recruit Training Squadron, Flight Lieutenant Scott Ripley-Jones who also bore the Colour at the church ceremony. Colour Warrant Officer was Warrant Officer Rob Weaving, RTS WO.

RAF Halton’s Station Commander, Group Captain James Brayshaw, said: “Sunday evening afforded me the immense honour of passing the retired Queen’s Colour, presented to Royal Air Force Halton by her Majesty the Queen on 31st October 1997, to St Michael’s church for safe lodging.

“RAF Halton is scheduled to close and the laying of the Colour in the Church in St Michael’s church rightly embeds the heritage of Halton at the heart of the community that has supported the Station for over 100 years.

“This Colour will serve alongside the previous Colour, also laid in St Michael’s, as a lasting commemorative symbol of the tens of thousands of Service personnel who have passed through the gates of RAF Halton. Some of whom have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

The Colour for Royal Air Force Halton is entrusted to the church until such time as it shall pass to dust, like those whose courage and devotion are enshrined in its history.”

Station Warrant Officer, WO Ian Giles added: “To pass the Queen’s Colour for RAF Halton to the parish church for safe lodging is a moment to reflect on the contribution of those RAF personnel who have served the country with steadfast loyalty.

Moreover, it should serve as reminder to the selfless sacrifice of those personnel, some of which are laid to rest in the churchyard including, Air Mechanic 2nd class GR Bradshaw, one of the RAF’s very earliest fatalities who died 28 October 1918, just some five months after the formation of the Service aged 17, and TF Gordon who died 01 May 1919 holding the rank of Boy! The Colour is entrusted to the safe keeping at St Michael’s as a symbol of the strong ties between the Station and the local community, symbols which will endure long past the closure of the Station, forever embedded in the two Colours hanging in the church and commonwealth graves, housed within your grounds.

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