Thousands visit IWM Duxford to commemorate Remembrance Sunday

Members of the public were joined by veterans, serving Armed Forces personnel and hundreds of motorcyclists from the Royal British Legion Bikers Branch. Admission to the museum was free for all.

At 11am, a two-minute silence was signified by a traditional gun salute by The Garrison.

Poppy-making activities took place in AirSpace and Land Warfare, where families either wore their home-made poppies or added them to a frieze showing the First World War Flanders Field in AirSpace and contemporary conflict in Afghanistan in Land Warfare. Also in Land Warfare, the Royal Anglian Regiment Museum offered families the chance to have a go at face camouflage and to try on army combat equipment.

Visitors were offered the opportunity to explore the wide range of memorials on site at IWM Duxford and were also given the challenge of making a poppy with only one hand. The Remembrance Poppy was originally designed so that it could be assembled with just one hand. The provision of work for disabled ex-Servicemen was as important to the Poppy Appeal as raising funds. The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Factory started in 1922 with five disabled ex-servicemen. It now employs 50 disabled ex-servicemen in the manufacture of poppies, wreaths and remembrance crosses.

There was also a rare opportunity to see inside Duxford Chapel, situated next to Wing Co. Joe’s Caf�. The first Station Church of England Church opened at the same time as Squadron Headquarters in 1934 and was built in an annexe to Building 83, the single-bay First World War hangar that was blown up in 1968 as part of the filming of Battle of Britain.

The Astra Cinema was built during the Second World War to include a combined Church of England and Roman Catholic Chapel, overlapping with the gymnasium which was used to accommodate the congregation during divine services. That remained the station church until the station closed in 1961.

The IWM Duxford replica chapel is based on photographs of the original church. The interior can only be viewed on Remembrance Sunday.

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At 12.15pm, Sawston Youth Group and Sawston Air Cadets marched from the hangar base to the Conservation Hall in AirSpace to commence the Service of Remembrance.

As part of the traditional service of Remembrance wreaths were laid by representatives of IWM Duxford, Airborne Assault museum, the Royal Anglian Regiment, the Cambridgeshire Regiment, United States Air Force 493 Flying Squadron, the Royal British Legion together with the British Legion Bikers Branch, the Burma Star Association, 2461 Sawston Squadron Air Cadets, Sawston Youth Group Band, Duxford Aviation Society and Friends of Duxford.