It is an immense and humbling privilege to follow Mrs Moon, and so many other hon. Members who have made such knowledgeable and insightful speeches. I possess neither the insight nor the first-hand experience to measure up in any way to those speeches, so I stand sincerely and humbly as the Member of Parliament for Stirling simply to pay tribute to the Royal Air Force on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. The RAF was formed, as has been mentioned, as a result of the amalgamation of a number of entities, including the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps. They came together to create the world’s first independent, stand-alone air force.
I have no personal or family connection with the RAF, but I honour all those who do. My emotions towards the RAF were first stirred—I feel confident to talk about this now, having heard the Secretary of State say how much he is looking forward to seeing the film “Hurricane”—by the boyhood experience of going with some friends to the Regal cinema on East High Street in Forfar—it is no longer there—to watch the 1969 epic “Battle of Britain”. That film and the heroics therein displayed made a great impact on me: feelings of appreciation for the sacrifice of those who serve our country in uniform were kindled, and feelings of deep patriotism were stirred.