Dozens of people lined the streets of Chesham at the weekend to celebrate the RAF’s centenary.

Members of the Armed Forces, the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, the High Sheriff, MPs and other dignitaries and guests gathered in the town centre on Sunday to mark the Royal Air Force’s 100th birthday.

They were joined by Diane Rutter, services director at Monks Risborough-based Community Impact Bucks, whose grandfather was one of the founding members of the RAF when it formed in 1918.

The celebrations started with personnel from RAF Halton forming a Guard of Honour at the War Memorial in the High Street and laying a wreath.

Led by the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment and carrying the Queen’s Colour Standard [flag], the Guard of Honour then marched along the High Street towards the clock tower where they were greeted by HM Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, Sir Henry Aubrey Fletcher, who took the General Salute.

Sir Henry was joined on the dais by Patricia Birchley, chairman of Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC), group captain Woods, station commander RAF Wycombe, and wing commander Karen Moran, deputy station commander RAF Halton.

The Guard of Honour then marched back along the High Street to the war memorial.

The Queen’s Colour Standard was presented to RAF Halton by The Duchess of Cornwall on a visit to Buckinghamshire last year.

Following the parade, a church service organised by BCC took place in St Mary's Church. Cadets from 2204 (Chesham and Amersham) Squadron, part of the Herts and Bucks Wing Air Training Corps took part in the events.

Speaking about how her grandfather joined the RAF, Ms Rutter said: “Aged 18, my grandfather, Joseph John Burchett (JJB) Rutter, joined the Royal Horse Artillery as a gunner during the First World War.

“In November 1917 he transferred into the Royal Flying Corps and trained as a pilot at RFC Netheravon.”

JJB, as he was known to his family, was a flight instructor and trained pilots who were needed on the front in the First World War.

JJB continued to fly as an RAF reservist until 1929 and re-joined the force in World War Two as squadron leader.

Another guest of honour at the commemorative service was veteran pilot Jimmy James, from Chesham, who served in the RAF for 37 years.

Jimmy, a flight lieutenant, spoke about his experiences of flying with the RAF, including his memories of being shot down over Europe during World War Two when he was seconded to the Royal Australian Airforce in Squadron No 450.

Speaking after the day’s celebrations, Cllr Birchley said: “What a wonderful and fitting way to mark such an important milestone in our country's military history.

“Buckinghamshire has a long held association with the Royal Air Force. We may only have RAF Halton and RAF High Wycombe remaining but the county has been home to 16 different air bases.

“Today’s [Sunday’s] celebrations have been about commemorating the great work done by all those who have served in the Royal Air Force since it was founded in 1918, and also looking forward to the future and all those who will serve under it, protecting our Queen and country for the next 100 years.”