The city of St Omer in northern France has gone to extraordinary lengths to mark its association with the RAF, a link that stretches back over the hundred years of the service’s existence. Rob Pritchard highlights some of the key displays within the area.


Britain’s air arms and the RAF in particular have a very strong connection with northern France, and the St Omer area. The Royal Flying Corps – the precursor to the RAF – arrived in northern France during the early days of the First World War, flying in support of the Allied armies attempting to push back the Kaiser’s forces, and ultimately free France. In the Second World War, the RAF returned as part of the ill-fated British Expeditionary Force and later flew countless sorties over the area to again free the nation from tyranny. Many airmen gave their lives in northern France in the name of freedom, and the local people have never forgotten their sacrifice. Accordingly, a number of memorials, special displays and tributes have been established in the area.

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