Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Sunday, 30 March 2008 11:48 UK

Plaque marks RAF's 90th birthday

Cecil Hotel (Photo: Westminster City Council)
The Cecil Hotel was the RAF's first HQ (Photo: Westminster City Council)

A plaque has been unveiled in central London to mark the 90th anniversary of the Royal Air Force (RAF).

The green plaque sits at 80 Strand, once the Cecil Hotel where the RAF had its first headquarters in 1918.

RAF spokesman David Forsyth said: "Amazing progress has been made in just 90 years since we were born."

On 1 April Red Arrows will fly in formation with four Typhoon aircraft along the Thames to the London Eye, to celebrate the anniversary.

The RAF was formed by merging the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service during the end of World War One.

It all began with string, wood, canvas, a primitive engine and an idea that air power was not just for dreamers
RAF spokesman David Forsyth

Its first headquarters were at the Cecil Hotel, which was requisitioned for the war effort in 1917.

The air force remained there until 1919 and most of the original building was demolished in the 1930s.

Mr Forsyth said: "Those early service men and women would be astounded by today's modern technology - jets, rockets, GPS-guided missiles and unmanned aircraft.

"But it all began with string, wood, canvas, a primitive engine and an idea that air power was not just for dreamers."

Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy unveiled the plaque on Sunday, in a ceremony followed by the RAF's annual memorial service at nearby St Clement Danes Church.




SEE ALSO
'No tolerance' for RAF staff abuse
07 Mar 08 |  Cambridgeshire
Protest over RAF base contract
17 Jan 08 |  Shropshire

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific