On Sunday more than 100 people gathered in Green Park at a ceremony to honour the 55,573 airmen of Bomber Command who died during the Second World War. The Act of Remembrance was held at the Bomber Command Memorial, which was unveiled five years ago by Her Majesty the Queen to remember those who perished.
The annual event is organised by the RAF Benevolent Fund. We are the official guardian of the memorial, overseeing its maintenance and upkeep. Each year RAF veterans and serving personnel alike come together to pay their respects and honour fallen comrades.
Among the Bomber Command veterans in attendance was 94-year-old Harry Rossiter, a wireless operator who served with No. 115 Squadron; and Harry Rawlings, also 94, who was a pilot with No. 90 Squadron and was taken as a prisoner of war when his plane crashed, killing all other four crew members on board.
An RAF wreath was laid at the Memorial by Chief of Air Staff Sir Stephen Hillier, and his wife Lady Hillier.
The RAF Benevolent Fund wreath was laid by Air Commodore Paul Hughesdon and the Bomber Command Association wreath was laid by Bomber Command veteran, Air Commodore Charles Clarke.
Air Commodore Paul Hughesdon, Director of Welfare and Policy at the RAF Benevolent Fund said: "The Bomber Command Memorial is a place where we can come to pay our respects to those who gave their lives in Bomber Command.
"We are proud to be guardians of the memorial to ensure that friends, family, comrades and loved ones of the fallen have a place to come to remember."
Of the 125,000 men who flew in Bomber Command, nearly half perished – almost twice as many as the size of the Royal Air Force today.