HEROIC pilots who gave their lives during the Battle of Britain were remembered at the Uxbridge base which played a key role in 'The Few' securing victory.
On Sunday local dignitaries stood shoulder-to-shoulder with surviving veterans of the armed forces at RAF Uxbridge to mark the 68th anniversary of the defence of Britain from the Luftwaffe in 1940.
During the Second World War the base, in Hillingdon Road, Uxbridge, was home to the No 11 Group of flying personnel and also the Battle of Britain Operations Room - which includes an underground bunker that has been restored and stands as a permanent memorial.
The Reverend (Wing Commander) Andy McMullon, senior chaplain at RAF Brize Norton, led the service of remembrance in the blazing sunshine in front of the memorial at 11am.
Readings were carried out by Officer Commanding Uxbridge, Wing Commander Mark Sexton, and Wing Commander Les Harris RAF (retired) of the Aircrew Association.
The Last Post was sounded and a minute's silence observed as the assembled guests and VIPs thought of the sacrifice made by the 544 airmen who lost their lives.
Wreathes were laid by the Deputy Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor Shirley Harper-O'Neil, and by the MP for Uxbridge, John Randall (Con) as well as contributions from the Burma Star Association and Normandy Veterans Association.
One of the wreath layers was Walter Hart, 90, who was involved in many of the key battles of the war, including the D-Day landings, and was moved by the show of recognition for his fallen colleagues.
He said: "I saw things during that time I would really rather forget, but the sacrifice made by those who died should never be forgotten.
"My hope is no-one in this country ever has to go through anything like that again."
Wing Commander Sexton said: "It is important we continue to hold services like this, and even better that here at Uxbridge we are blessed with a location so pivotal to the battle."
Mr Randall added: "It brings home the sacrifice made by a past generation and reminds us we have men and women still involved in operations around the world.
"Uxbridge base has a strong connection to the battle and is an important part of our history."
A sunset ceremony in honour of the Battle of Britain was also held at RAF Northolt on Thursday.
Guests including Deputy Mayor of London, Richard Barnes, and representatives of local residents' associations attended to see the lowering of the RAF Ensign and a fly-past by an iconic Spitfire fighter.