Military aircraft will fly over town as part of ancient RAF parade

Mark Usher of RAF Halton plays The Last Post, November 2013
Mark Usher of RAF Halton plays The Last Post, November 2013

A Douglas C-47 Dakota from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will make an appearance over the town as part of celebrations held in honour of RAF troops.

Troops from Halton will march through Aylesbury town centre on Sunday, June 1, as a ceremonial demonstration of the force ‘exercising its right’ on the town.

Cadets from RAF Halton will then march through the town centre with swords drawn and bayonets fixed to the rousing sound of drums.

A small pre-parade event will be held in Kingsbury between 11am and 1.30pm in collaboration with Aylesbury Town Council. Crowds can enjoy music and find out more about the RAF, Cadets and Scouts before heading to Market Square to watch the spectacle.

The aircraft flies over at 2pm, before the parade is reviewed by the mayor, Tuffail Hussain.

The march will begin at the County Court building and meander through Market Square to Market Street where it will halt, reform and return to Walton Street – paying compliments to the Reviewing Officer at the Dais at Market Square.

Freedom parades like this date back to ancient Rome and are an ancient honour granted to martial organisations, allowing them the privilege to march into the city.

Similar laws were passed by other European cities throughout the Medieval era, to protect public security and civic rights – even against their own King’s troops. As a result, soldiers would be forced to camp outside the walls of the city during the winter.

The Freedom Parade was an honour granted only to troops which had earned the trust of the locals, either through some valiant action or simply by being a familiar presence.

However, today the martial Freedom of the City is an entirely ceremonial honour usually bestowed upon a unit with historic ties to the area as a token of appreciation for their long and dedicated service.