Roll of Honour – Service of Dedication

Order of Service

A Service to Dedicate the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Roll of Honour and to Lay-Up the Sovereign’s Colour

Sunday 28th October 2012


In 2003, the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Memorial Trust was established as a charity to fund and oversee the provision of a Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum dedicated to all who had served in the Auxiliary Air Force and its successor, the Royal Auxiliary Air Force – remembering especially those who have given their lives in the cause of freedom. The Memorial was dedicated in the presence of His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester on 24th September 2004.

Whilst undertaking the Memorial project, it became evident to the Trustees that there were other aspects of the Force’s history, achievements, ethos and traditions which were worthy of attention, but as this embraced a wider remit than was originally envisaged for the Trust, it was decided to change its name to that of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Foundation. Ratified with the Charity Commission in 2010, the Foundation is managed by 7 Trustees including former and serving members of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester, who has strong family connections with the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, kindly agreed to become the Foundation’s Patron in February 2012.

Current activities of the Foundation include:

  • Preparing and dedicating a Roll of Honour
  • Renovating the Force Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum
  • Establishing formal links with The City of London, The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust at Capel-le-Ferne and The Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust
  • Finding a dedicated repository for the many historically significant documents relating to the Force which are currently held by private individuals.
  • Developing a web-site which will provide a comprehensive record of the Force – and, importantly, will include links with the units and personnel of today.

‘Tradition is not buried with the ashes but is carried forward in the flames’


The Royal Auxiliary Air Force Roll of Honour records the names of all those Auxiliaries who have lost their lives whilst on duty. The first entry is dated May 1928 and the most recent April 2008.

The scroll work was undertaken by John Nash and the book cover and binding by Tony Smith.

After its dedication, the Roll of Honour will be housed in a wooden cabinet at the top eastern side of the St Clement Danes main aisle.

The Royal Auxiliary Air Force Trustees are most grateful to the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust for its donation of £6,500 which paid for the production of the Roll of Honour and to the Royal Air Force Central Fund for its donation of £3,234 which paid for the cabinet in which the Roll of Honour will be housed.


The Sovereign’s Colour being laid up today was the Royal Auxiliary Air Force’s first Colour and was presented by Her Majesty The Queen, the Force’s Air Commodore-in-Chief, at Royal Air Force Benson on 12th June 1989. Since then, it has been paraded on 74 occasions at Squadron, Station, Force and national events. It was last paraded on 18th July 2010 when Her Majesty presented the Royal Auxiliary Air Force with a new Sovereign’s Colour. Following today’s laying-up ceremony the Colour will be held and displayed in perpetuity in this, the Royal Air Force Church of St Clement Danes.

The Church is equipped with a hearing loop. Please switch off your mobile phones.

The Central Band of the Royal Air Force, under the direction of the Director of Music,

Flight Lieutenant Richard A Murray BMus(Hons) LRSM LLCM RAF

The band plays by permission of the Air Force Board of the Defence Council.

Music before the Service

Ye Banks and Braes, Grainger
Intermezzo (from Folk Song Suite), V. Williams
Greensleeves, Trad arr. Reed
Irish Tune from County Derry, Grainger
Lux Aurumque, Whitacre
Elegy on the RAF March Past, Hingley

Music during the Service by

The Choir of St Clement Danes

Organist and Director of Music



Conducted by:
The Reverend David Osborn BD AKC RAF
Resident Chaplain

At 11.00 preceded by the cross of St Clement Danes the Royal and Clergy procession moves from the west door of the Church.

All stand


Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven,
To his feet thy tribute bring;
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like me his praise should sing?
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise him for his grace and favour
To our fathers in distress;
Praise him still the same for ever,
Slow to chide and swift to bless;
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Glorious in his faithfulness.

Father-like he tends and spares us,
Well our feeble frame he knows;
In his hands he gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Widely as his mercy flows.

Angels, help us to adore him:
Ye behold him face to face;
Sun and moon bow down before him,
Dwellers all in time and space:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Praise with us the God of grace.

Words: H. F Lyte. Music: John Goss


In the name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we come together this day in St Clement Danes, the Central Church of the Royal Air Force. We gather with colleagues, comrades, friends and their families to give thanks to God for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, to lay up its Sovereign’s Colour and to dedicate its Roll of Honour.

We come to offer our prayers of thanksgiving, to sing our hymns of praise, and to pray for those in need. We pray also for those who have served and serve today in the armed forces of the Crown, especially the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

In doing so we acknowledge those times when we have fallen short in our discipleship of Christ, we express our penitence and seek forgiveness of our sins confident in the knowledge that God’s healing and life-giving presence is with us always.

The Resident Chaplain gives


Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All Amen.

The Resident Chaplain will say:


Merciful God, teach us to be faithful in change and uncertainty that trusting in your word and obeying your will we may enter the unfailing joy of Jesus Christ our Lord.

All Amen.


The Sovereign’s Colour for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force is paraded into Church

The Chaplain-in-Chief will say:

It is an ancient and laudable custom to lay-up in the House of God the consecrated emblems of man’s duty and service, there to remain for all time as a reminder of duty well done and of the strength that God supplies.

The Inspector Royal Auxiliary Air Force, Group Captain G W Bunkell QVRM AE ADC RAuxAF, will say:

Venerable Sir, I ask you to receive this Colour of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force for safe lodging in the House of God until such a time as it shall pass to dust like those whose courage and devotion are enshrined in its history.

The Chaplain-in-Chief will reply:

We receive this Colour into the safe keeping of God’s House, here to hang for all time as a reminder to those who pass by of man’s duty to God, to his Sovereign, and to this country.

The Chaplain-in-Chief will lay the Colour upon the Holy Table. The Chaplain-in-Chief will then say the following prayer:

Almighty and Everlasting God, giver of all strength and grace, and Captain of our Salvation, we offer in this your House the symbol of man’s faithfulness. May your blessing rest on those who have borne it, and may it ever remain a sign of that unity which springs from the acceptance of your grace, who art with the Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

All Amen.

All sit


Read by Air Vice-Marshal Lord Beaverbrook, Honorary Inspector- General Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

A reading from the prophet Isaiah

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and grow weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Listen to me in silence, O coastlands; let the peoples renew their strength; let them approach, then let them speak; let us together draw near for judgement.

Isaiah 40.28 to 41.2

All stand


God is our strength and refuge,
Our present help in trouble;
and we therefore will not fear,
though the earth should change!
Though mountains shake and tremble,
though swirling floods are raging,
God the Lord of hosts is with us evermore!

There is a flowing river,
Within God’s holy city;
God is in the midst of her –
she shall not be moved!
God’s help is swiftly given,
thrones vanish at his presence –
God the Lord of hosts is with us evermore!

Come, see the works of our maker,
learn of his His deeds all powerful;
wars will cease across the world
when He shatters the spear!
Be still and know your creator,
uplift Him in the nations –
God the Lord of hosts is with us evermore!

Words from Psalm 46 Music: Eric Coates


Read by Mr G Dunsmore, father of SAC Christopher Dunsmore, killed in action in Iraq 19 July 2007.

A reading from the Letter to the Ephesians

Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

Ephesians 6.11 to 18


The Venerable Ray Pentland QHC BA DipPS MTh RAF
Chaplain-in-Chief (RAF)


Who would true valour see,
let him come hither;
one here will constant be,
come wind, come weather;
there’s no discouragement
shall make him once relent
his first avowed intent
to be a pilgrim.

Whoso beset him round
with dismal stories,
does but themselves confound;
his strength the more is.
No lion can him fright;
he’ll with a giant fight,
but he will have the right
to be a pilgrim.

Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
can daunt his spirit;
he knows he at the end
shall life inherit.
Then, fancies, fly away;
he’ll not fear what men say;
he’ll labour night and day
to be a pilgrim.

Words: John Bunyan, Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams


The Resident Chaplain will say a prayer for Her Majesty the Queen, Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force:

Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness, bless our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth, and all who are in authority under her; that they may order all things in wisdom and equity, righteousness and peace, to the honour of your name, and the good of your Church and people; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All Amen.

A prayer for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force:

Almighty and everlasting God who created the stars, the heavens and the earth, we commend to your fatherly protection all who serve in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, that, together with the Royal Air Force, we may be a safeguard to our most gracious Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth and be a sure defence to our country. Protect and support us, and our families, as we seek to serve with integrity and respect, and grant that we may prove to be worthy successors of those who by their valour and sacrifice did nobly serve their day and generation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All Amen.

A prayer for those who suffer as a result of conflict:

Lord God, we pray for all who suffer as a result of conflict: those wounded in body and spirit, and those made refugee or prisoner of war. Particularly today we commemorate all those who have served in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. We ask your blessing on those who still suffer and those who still grieve: through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All Amen.

A prayer for the peace of the world:

Almighty God, from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed: kindle, we pray, in the hearts of all people the true love of peace, and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquillity your kingdom may go forward, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All Amen.

All Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

The choir sings



Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!
The heavens are not too high, his praise may thither fly,
the earth is not too low, his praises there may grow.
Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!

Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!
The church with psalms must shout, no door can keep them out;
but, above all, the heart must bear the longest part.
Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!

Words: George Herbert, Music: Ralph Vaughan-Williams

All stand


The Roll of Honour is carried into church, by Squadron Leader J W Metcalfe RAuxAF, flanked by Mrs Jacqui Thompson, whose husband Senior Aircraftsman Gary Thompson was killed in action in Afghanistan 13th April 2008 and Mrs Joan Davies whose husband Flight Lieutenant Richard Morgan was killed in action returning from a mission on 8th February 1944. Both served on 504 (County of Nottingham) Squadron.

The Chaplain-in-Chief will say:

Our help is in the name of the Lord;
All Who hath made heaven and earth.

Blessed be the name of the Lord;
All From this time forth, even for evermore.

Honour and majesty are before him;
All Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people;
All Give unto the Lord glory and strength.

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name;
All Bring an offering and come into his courts for ever. Amen.

All Blessed and glorious Lord God Almighty, by whose power, wisdom and love all things are sanctified, enlightened and made perfect; be merciful unto us and bless us, we beseech you, and cause your face to shine upon us, that what we do now may please you, and show forth the honour of your name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Chaplain-in-Chief will say:

In the faith of Jesus Christ, we offer and dedicate this Roll of Honour of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, to the glory of God and the memory of all those who have served in that service; in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

All Amen.

O you who are the Creator and Lover of all, by whom all souls do live; we bless and praise you for all that is true and pure, beautiful and good in the lives commemorated this day; we give thanks for the example we have been left of faith and hope and duty and pray that we may be truly worthy of this great inheritance; we ask this through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

All Amen.

All remain standing.


The Resident Chaplain will say:

Let us remember before God and commend to his sure keeping: those who have died for their country in war; those whom we knew, and whose memory we treasure; and all who lived and died in the service of mankind.

The Chairman of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Foundation, Group Captain R T W Mighall OBE, will say:

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

(And all repeat)

We will remember them.




The Resident Chaplain will say:

Almighty and eternal God from whose love in Christ we cannot be parted either by death or life: Hear our prayers and thanksgivings for all whom we remember this day; fulfil in them the purpose of your love; and bring us all, with them, to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All Amen.


Let us pledge ourselves anew to the service of God
and our fellow men and women: that we may help, encourage
and comfort others, and support those working for the
relief of the needy and for the peace and welfare of the nations.

All Lord God our Father we pledge ourselves
to serve you and all mankind in the cause of peace
for the relief of want and suffering and for the praise of your name.
Guide us by your Spirit; give us wisdom; give us courage;
give us hope; and keep us faithful, now and always.


And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills.

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.

Words: William Blake, Music C. Hubert. H. Parry

Please remain standing


God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen!

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen!

Arranged by Gordon Jacob

The Chaplain-in-Chief gives


God grant to the living, grace; to the departed, rest; to the Church, the Queen, the Commonwealth, and all people, peace and concord; and to us and all his servants, life everlasting; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.

All Amen.

The Royal and Clergy procession leave the Church.


Nun Danket, Karg-Elert

Members of the congregation are kindly requested to reman seated until directed by the Ushers to leave

There will be a
Retiring Collection in aid of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Foundation and the continuing work of St Clement Danes

St Clement Danes CCLi Number: 1413839

Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, material from which is included in this service is Copyright © the Archbishops Council, 2006.