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Hurricane on York theatre roof will be "amazing talking point"

A Hurricane aircraft was airlifted onto the roof of York Theatre Royal today - and the director of the city's Air Museum hopes it will get people talking about the local history of the air force.

The lift not only marks Armed Forces Day, but also the 70th anniversary of the French Air Force arriving in York.

In June 1944 two French bomber squadrons became operational at RAF Elvington (now the Air Museum). They were unique in Bomber Command, with Elvington being the only base to be operated wholly by another nationality. Some 2300 French personnel were stationed at the base.

“As this significant 70th Anniversary coincides exactly with the build up to the Grand Départ of the Tour De France in York, the Hurricane will provide both an amazing talking point for the City’s celebration of this magnificent sporting event and provide a visual spectacle for the television camera’s following the peleton as it swoops past the Theatre Royal, with York Minster resplendent in the background.

"The Hurricane also reflects another wartime link to France, as it was a French pilot, Yves Mahé flying his 253 Squadron Hawker Hurricane, who first intervened to save York during the ‘York Blitz’ of April 1942.”

– Ian Reed, Director - Yorkshire Air Museum

Fitting memorial as Hurricane airlifted onto York theatre roof

The Hurrican took pride of place on at around 5.30am this morning

Today marks the sixth annual Armed Forces Day.

And in the same year we mark the centenary of World War I, there are plenty of events going on across the region to show support for the forces.

In York, early this morning the Hawker Hurricane aircraft, normally housed at the Yorkshire Air Museum, was lifted onto the roof of the café of the Theatre Royal. This month is also the 70th Anniversary of the French Air Force arriving in York.

On top of all this, York will host Stage 2 of the Tour de France Grand Depart, making this memorial especially significant.


York Military Wives Choir take to the stage

York Military Wives Choir

The York Military Wives Choir are preparing to perform at the city's Armed Forces Day celebrations.

They will take to the stage at 1.30pm and again at 3pm in a marquee on Parliament Street.

The choir was only established in January this year but has already performed a number of small concerts, including the Ukulele Festival in York and at the Homecoming Medals Parade of the 2nd Signals Regiment in York.

Armed forces celebrations in York

British Legion Standard Bearers prepare to begin a service at York Minster

Armed Forces Day was officially yesterday - but many towns and cities in our region have made a weekend of the celebrations.

Today, there was a service featuring the Royal British Legion flagbearers, a parade down Coney Street, to Parliament Street where a salute took place, and there will be a whole host of entertainment in St Sampson's Square this afternoon.

This features the Band of The Yorkshire Regiment, the Military Wives Choir, a WWI cinema and even paintballing.


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David Cameron pays tribute to the Armed Forces

During a trip to Afghanistan on Armed Forces Day, David Cameron said it was an opportunity to say "how proud we are of our armed forces and everything they do for us".

He also said funding from Libor rate-rigging fines would be put into military charities and a permanent memorial would be built at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

In terms of the political aims of the country, he said: "We want a political solution as well as making sure we have a security solution.

Mr Cameron added that it was important that the politics "enable everyone in Afghanistan to play a role in the future of their country".

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