Neil Garwood, Head of Operations for Southampton Airport, is one of the volunteers carrying the RAF100 baton, and he said: “The airport has got a great history with Royal Air Force, and we are happy to support them in their centenary celebrations. Southampton Airport is where the first flight of Spitfire took place back in 1936, and that history goes on to current date with modern aircrafts flying from our airport to various destinations. We are proud to recognise the commitment of RAF and the work we do together for the greater good.”
The Royal Air Force flight sergeant Jay Ferguson said: “In our 100th anniversary year we’re proud to be visiting Southampton Airport as part of the RAF100 Baton Relay. Southampton played a very special role in the wartime history of the RAF as the home of the Spitfire, which helped the RAF to turn the tide of the Second World War with victory in the Battle of Britain. We’ll continue to reflect on Southampton’s remarkable role in our history as we celebrate a century of service to this country.”
The baton, designed by RAF apprentices to represent the century of service to the Nation, will visit every region of the UK and several overseas locations that are associated with the Royal Air Force. The run started from the Royal Court of Justice in London on 1 April, before reaching the airport’s main Terminal at 8:00am on 19 April.