Chitterne was the scene of an unusual and moving Service on Sunday 12 May 2013 - the Laying Up of the Standard of Number 3 (Fighter) Squadron, Royal Air Force.
The church was packed with a mixture of serving members of Number 3 (Fighter) Squadron, Royal Air Force, previously serving members of the Squadron, the Brass Quintet of the Central Band of the Royal Air Force, a great number of Chitterne villagers and members of Dauntseys School SSA Choir and Staff.
The Standard was marched through Chitterne accompanied by a representative Honour Guard and Escort from Number 3 (Fighter) Squadron.
The Service was conducted by The Reverend (Group Captain) Nick Barry QHC BA RAF, Deputy Chaplain-in-Chief, and he was assisted by The Reverend Canon Ian Chisholm. Reverend Barry gave an excellent address during the Service which encapsulated the importance of the Standard to the Squadron. The emotion of the event was greatly enhanced by the beautiful music from both the Royal Air Force musicians and the choristers from Dauntseys School.
After the Service Chitterne was treated to an exciting flypast of a WWII Hurricane and a Typhoon ('Eurofighter') aircraft. These two aircraft are representative of the past and present fighters used by No 3 (F) Squadron. They performed two passes over the church much to the delight of the many onlookers.
There was then an address by the present Officer Commanding Number 3 (Fighter) Squadron, prior to a celebratory lunch for invited guests in the Village Hall.
Text by Kato O'Driscoll