01 May 09. A service of Thanksgiving will take place in St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday 8 May 2009 to celebrate the Centenary of Naval aviation and pay tribute to the courage, commitment and professionalism of everyone who has served with the Royal Naval Air Service or Fleet Air Arm over the past 100 years. Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm, The Duke of York KG will be in attendance, alongside dignitaries from the City of London, the Commander-in-Chief Fleet Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope and 2,000 current serving members of the Fleet Air Arm, together with veterans and families. The service will also remember the 6,749 Royal Naval Air Service and Fleet Air Arm personnel who have given their lives in 100 years of Naval aviation. The perils of flying from flight decks of ships are much greater than flying over land resulting historically in many more Naval air casualties from accidents than from combat. During the service the traditional Royal Navy bosun’s call will pipe the ‘still’ as the Books of Remembrance are laid on the altar in a poignant replica of a burial at sea. One of the readings during the service will be read by the internationally acclaimed actress, Kristin Scott Thomas whose father, a Fleet Air Arm pilot died in a Sea Vixen in 1966. Her mother remarried but tragically was widowed a second time. Kristin’s step father, another Fleet Air Arm pilot died in a Phantom in 1971. After the service HRH The Prince of Wales will take the Royal salute as the Guard from HMS Illustrious, serving members of the Fleet Air Arm and veterans march past the Cathedral. HMS Illustrious is affiliated to the City of London and members of the ship’s company will be supporting the service, lining the steps of St Paul’s as guests arrive. Receptions will be held after the service in The Guildhall, Merchant Taylors’ Hall and Skinners’ Hall.