Polish 307 Squadron remembered at poignant ceremony at Exeter’s Guildhall
Published: 15 November 2022
The Polish flag has been flown above Exeter’s historic Guildhall in honour of the Polish 307 Squadron who defended the city during the Second World War.
A free exhibition at the Guildhall throughout the day on Tuesday highlights the achievements of the Squadron, who were based at Exeter Airport during the war.
307 Squadron defended the South West during the conflict and helped prevent Exeter from being totally destroyed during the blitz on the city in 1942.
To mark the occasion the Polish flag was raised over the Guildhall.
Standard Bearers of the Regimental Association of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment together with Polish standard bearers formed up in the High Street.
A parade by RAF Brize Norton marched from Queen Street to the historic Guildhall, where guests and dignitaries gathered.
Speeches were made by Andrzej Michalski and Michael Parrott as well as the Lord Mayor of Exeter Cllr Yolonda Henson and the Polish Consul General, Mateusz Stasiek.
A blessing of the flag was made by the Dean of Exeter Cathedral the Very Reverend Jonathan Greener before the flag was raised while the Polish National Anthem performed by an orchestra.
At 2pm there will be a wreath laying ceremony at the 307 Squadron memorial at Exeter Cathedral.
Council Leader Phil Bialyk, who attended the ceremony, said: “We are marking the day 80 years ago when the Polish flag was given to Exeter, one of the few places in the country it has been awarded to.
“The Squadron gave two years of service defending our city and we are really appreciative of what they did, and I am so proud that Exeter can continue that relationship with the 307 Squadron.”