War battles to be commemorated

THE Ballina Branch of the RAAF Association will commemorate two significant World War II battles.


On Sunday, September 12, at 11am in the Memorial Park opposite the Ballina RSL Club, the branch is organising a Commemoration Service for all branches of the Australian Defence Service and all ex-service associations or organisations to commemorate the Battle of Britain and the Battle for Australia.


The Battle of Britain was the aerial conflict between British and German air forces over the United Kingdom in the summer and autumn of 1940.


It is considered one of the most important periods in Britain’s 20th century history and a decisive turning point in World War II.


There were 37 Australian pilots who took part in this battle, 13 were killed in action and one taken prisoner of war.


The Battle for Australia began when Singapore fell to the Japanese on February 15, 1942. Prime Minister John Curtin said in Parliament: “Just as Dunkirk began the Battle of Britain, so does Singapore open the Battle for Australia.”


In June 2008 the then Minister for Veterans Affairs proclaimed the first Wednesday in September each year shall be a Commemoration day for the Battle for Australia.


It is commemorated in September as that marks the September 1, 1943, Battle for Milne Bay in which the Japanese suffered their first defeat of the war.


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