PICTURES: Buxton memorial dedication marks RAF centenary

Mayor Matt Stone unveils the new limestone memorial
Mayor Matt Stone unveils the new limestone memorial

One hundred years since the formation of the Royal Air Force (RAF) was marked in Buxton on Easter Sunday during a special dedication service.

Ex-service personnel, local dignitaries and members of the public gathered at the Sparrow Park memorial garden, off Hardwick Street, for the blessing of a commemorative piece of limestone.

The stone - donated by Tarmac’s Tunstead Quarry - has been placed on top of a time capsule which was buried by pupils from St Thomas More School and Buxton Community School last month.

The Rev Keith Cocking led a poignant lunchtime service, organised by the Buxton branch of the Royal British Legion as part of a year of commemorative events building up to the centenary of the end of the First World War in November.

Branch member Mo Stewart said the service was “a community event to keep remembering the sacrifices made by people 100 years ago”.

High Peak MP Ruth George was in attendance alongside the borough’s mayor Coun Matt Stone, who unveiled the memorial. The service also included readings and musical tributes.

As well as remembering the fallen during the First World War, the event celebrated 100 years to the day since the RAF was founded, following the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service - creating the world’s first independent air service.