RAF100 Baton Relay
ON 1ST APRIL, ONE HUNDRED YEARS SINCE THE FORMATION OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE, A SPECIALLY DESIGNED BATON SET OFF ON A JOURNEY AROUND THE UK AND SIGNIFICANT LOCATIONS ABROAD.
The relay served the important purpose of commemorating past and present individuals who have given so much to the RAF by visiting locations, such as RAF Odiham, that have been intrinsically linked to military operations for many years.
Starting at the Royal Courts of Justice and lasting 100 days, the relay featured people from across the RAF, the communities we serve and past members. The baton, which features the RAF crest and RAF100 logo, was designed by young RAF recruits using materials that symbolise aircraft construction through the ages. Each baton carrier had just a start and end point but the method of transportation was left down to each individual or team.
The Baton was delivered to RAF Odiham by the RAF Cycling Team on 8th April 2018. Despite the rainy weather, there was a great turn out from local families who gathered to support the cyclists as they arrived with the baton. All those present had the opportunity to have pictures with the baton to commemorate the day and celebrate the baton’s journey so far.
RAF Odiham were supported throughout the day by 15 Air Cadets from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wing and RAF personnel from Frimley Park who provided a guard of honour for the arrival of the baton. Following the arrival, everyone in the guard of honour took part in a very competitive team relay on the airfield using two mini replica batons with ‘Team Chinook’ being crowned victorious. Finally, the baton was delivered to the Station Commander in SHFHQ where it remained overnight.
It was an early start for RAF Odiham’s Boxing Club on 9th April who collected the baton from the Station Commander to take on the next leg of the journey. The Club took on the task of running the 7 mile distance from RAF Odiham to Church Crookham in full boxing gear to safely deliver the baton to the RAF Odiham’s Saddle Club stables. The Saddle Club mounted their steeds and completed RAF Odiham’s involvement in the RAF100 Baton Relay by riding cross country to Aldershot Camp.
Across both days the enthusiasm shown by the Air Cadets, Boxing Club, Saddle Club and personnel from Frimley Park was evident and their participation was crucial to the success of the RAF100 Baton Relay as a whole.