THE Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, joined sailors and Royal Marines from the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton for the annual Act of Remembrance in the appropriate surroundings of the churchyard of St Bartholomew’s Fleet Air Arm Memorial Church earlier today.

Visiting the air station for the first time, Dr Williams watched as platoons of RNAS Yeovilton service personnel marched across the airfield and took their places for the service in the grounds of the spiritual home of the Fleet Air Arm.

Yeovilton’s Commanding Officer, Commodore Paul Chivers, said: “No matter how busy we all are, we need to reflect on the sacrifices made by all of our Service personnel over the years and today we also remember those closer to home, here at RNAS Yeovilton.

“Squadrons and departments from the Air Station provide ever-increasing numbers of personnel for front-line, operational tasks and servicemen and women from Yeovilton are here today, to commemorate those who have lost their lives, not only in two World Wars, but also in more recent and current conflicts.”

During the service, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Roll of Honour was read out by the Base Warrant Officer, Warrant Officer 1 Steve Uzzell and detailed all Royal Naval and Royal Marine personnel who have lost their lives from 2010 to the present day.

The Act of Remembrance was led by Revd Tudor Botwood and Revd Ned Kelly from RNAS Yeovilton and following the two-minute silence Commodore Chivers laid a wreath.

The Archbishop said: “Yeovilton is a really special place. It is not just that it is a centre of the Fleet Air Arm but also this beautiful church is a memorial to all that the Fleet Air Arm has contributed, so I am very glad to be here.”

Service personnel were joined by many of the civilian employees from the Air Station together with children from Hazelgrove, Chilton Cantelo and Ilchester schools and members of the village community.