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Swindon remembers pilot Harold Starr on 75th anniversary of Battle of Britain

The Duke of Gloucester is among those paying tribute to those who took part in the Battle of Britain.

The Duke laid a wreath at a service in Swindon - part series of special events in the City - to remember those who died, including Battle of Britain hero Harold Starr.

HRH Duke of Gloucester lays a wreath to remember those who died in the Battle of Britain. Credit: ITV West Country

Harold's family have travelled from all over the world to take part in today's ceremony.

Squadron Leader Harold Starr was born in Swindon in 1914 and rose to be the leader of 253 Squadron, but was killed at the height of the Battle of Britain.

A formation of Spitfires and Hurricanes that are performing a flypast to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain will fly directly over Harold's grave.

As soon as we told the BBMF about Harold’s story and the tribute we wanted to give him they were very keen to support our event.

– Paul Gentleman, Swindon Heritage

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Battle of Britain fly past - what's happening in our area?

An estimated 40 Spitfires, Hurricanes and Blenheims will take part in the flypast this afternoon.

Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

The aircraft will leave from Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex in ten separate groups with the first group due to take off at midday.

From then, every four minutes, another group will set off, each headed for a different Battle of Britain airfield over the South of England.

One of the groups is set to fly over Exeter and the West Country.

Pink Section's route across the south of England Credit: Battle of Britain Day

The Pink Section, estimated to leave around 12.28pm, will fly past Bridport, Lyme Regis, Exeter and Yeovil before making its way north.

Battle of Britain Hurricane and Spitfire Pilot, Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC, AFC, AE now 95 years old, will lead the formation from the rear seat of a two-seat Spitfire.

Tom will be joined by wounded service personnel who have been training to fly the Spitfire as part of the Spitfire Scholarship set up by the Boultbee Flight Academy in partnership with the Royal Foundation's Endeavour Fund.

Battle of Britain fly past - what's happening in our area?

An estimated 40 Spitfires, Hurricanes and Blenheims will take part in the flypast this afternoon.

Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

The aircraft will leave from Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex in ten separate groups with the first group due to take off at midday.

From then, every four minutes, another group will set off, each headed for a different Battle of Britain airfield over the South of England.

Two of the groups are set to fly over Bath.

The Red Section, headed for Northhold airfield, will pass over Trowbridge Bath, Bristol and Swindon. They're estimated to leave around 12.04pm.

Red Section's route across the South of Britain Credit: Battle of Britain Day

While the Pink Section, estimated to leave around 12.28pm, will fly past Yeovil, the Mendips and Bath on its way to Colerne.

Pink Section's route across the south of England Credit: Battle of Britain Day

Battle of Britain Hurricane and Spitfire Pilot, Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC, AFC, AE now 95 years old, will lead the formation from the rear seat of a two-seat Spitfire.

Tom will be joined by wounded service personnel who have been training to fly the Spitfire as part of the Spitfire Scholarship set up by the Boultbee Flight Academy in partnership with the Royal Foundation's Endeavour Fund.

Air Tattoo pulls huge crowds to Fairford

The Vulcan and Red Arrows in clear skies over Fairford Credit: Royal Int. Air Tattoo

A bumper crowd of almost 150,000 people were treated to a spectacular display of aviation from across the globe during the three-day Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

Highlights included a massed flypast of vintage warplanes to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The Vulcan XH558 made its final Air Tattoo appearances before it retires at the end of this year. The delta-winged Cold War bomber performed dramatic solo displays followed by joint flypasts with the RAF Red Arrows on Saturday and Sunday.

The Red Arrows flank the Vulcan above the crowds Credit: Royal Int Air Tattoo

The airshow also hosted the international debut of the Japanese Kawasaki P-1 maritime patrol aircraft, which performed in the flying display. Five aerobatic display teams performed spectacular routines with the Patrouille de France, Patrulla Aguila from Spain, the Swiss PC-7 Team and the Royal Jordanian Falcons joining the Red Arrows in thrilling the crowds.

In total 232 aircraft from 27 air arms representing 22 countries took part in the Air Tattoo.

“As well as providing one of the world’s greatest aviation spectacles, the Air Tattoo plays an important role in support of UK defence diplomacy. The 2015 airshow once again provided a relaxed yet dynamic meeting place where senior industry figures and military chiefs could come together to celebrate the best of aviation."

– Andy Armstrong, Air Tattoo Chief Exec

The Royal International Air Tattoo in stats and pictures

There are:

15,0000
people visiting over 3 days
1,500
volunteers
Jodie Kidd speaks to a pilot ahead of the Battle of Britain memorial flight Credit: ITV News
511
traffic signs to get to site
14,500
meals for volunteers
Jodie Kidd poses by a plane Credit: ITV News
5,000
At least the number of roadside cones used
100
At least structures put up on site
£1.5mil
the money pumped into local economies in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire
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