The Yorkshire Post says: Spirit of the RAF at 100. Through adversity to the stars

A Spitfire flies over London during the Battle of Britain.
A Spitfire flies over London during the Battle of Britain.
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FORMED in the final year of the Great War, the Royal Air Force continues to honour its motto Per ardua ad astra – through adversity to the stars.

Yet, to many, the RAF’s spirit is defined by Winston Churchill’s spine-tingling words during the Battle of Britain when he declared: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

Yet, while the demands and expectations of RAF crews are very different today to a century ago, or during the darkest hours of the Second World War when heroic pilots kept the Luftwaffe at bay, this institution continues to embody the very best of Britain and the vision of its founding fathers who viewed the very creation of the world’s first independent air service as the “foundations of a castle”.

They could not have been more prescient and this week’s commemorative celebrations are a chance for the whole country to salute a body of men – and women – whose example and service remains, to this day, the best of the best.