The Memorial Service to celebrate the life of our late President, Sqn Ldr Neville Duke, took place at the RAF Church, St Clement Danes, London, on Thursday, 11th October. Several members of the Museum led by our Chairman, Gp Capt David Baron, joined his widow Gwen and a large congregation which included senior serving and retired RAF officers and many old colleagues and friends from the aviation world. The address was given by Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon with tributes by Melvyn Hiscock of Aeroplane Magazine and ex-test pilot, Peter Twiss. A trumpeter from the RAF Central Band played the Last Post and Reveille and, following the Service, a lone Spitfire flew above the Strand dipping its wings in salute.
These words taken from the ‘Bidding Prayer’ summarise perfectly why we were there: “Neville Duke, a man of distinguished courage, consummate flying skill and moral integrity who, by his modesty, gave others courage, by his flying brought hope to a Nation, by his moral strength enabled so many to rise above their personal hardships and reach for the stars in their own lives. On this day especially, we come together to salute the bravest of the brave, whose final act was to save life”.