Crowds gathered round a village war memorial on Sunday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force.

The service of celebration and thanksgiving was attended by around 80 veterans, dignitaries and members of the public in Flackwell Heath on April 1.

One hundred years ago on April 1, 1918 the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the RAF and it became the world’s first - and is therefore now the oldest - independent air service.

Four wreaths were laid at the village’s war memorial on Common Road, including a Battle of Britain wreath and another placed by a warrant officer from RAF High Wycombe.

George O’Leary, Flackwell Heath branch chairman, said although the commemoration event fell on Easter Sunday, there was a good turnout.

He said: “It went very well and there were lots of new faces in the crowd. We had a nice service with plenty of laughter. It proved to be a great afternoon commemorating the anniversary of the RAF.”

The service was conducted by Rev Christopher Bull from Christ Church.

As well as the centenary year for the RAF, 2018 is a special year for the Flackwell Heath branch of the Royal British Legion.

The group will celebrate its 90th anniversary in December and will mark the milestone with dozens of special events.