A BUSY Taunton bypass came to a standstill today for an event held to honour a Taunton man who helped change the course of history.

The town’s Northern Inner Distributor Road was renamed to honour Huge Montague Trenchard, the founder of the Royal Air Force, as part of the national RAF 100 celebrations.

A ceremony was held to rename the road Trenchard Way and was attended by civic leaders and members of the armed forces community.

Somerset County Gazette:

Hugh Montague Trenchard, the 1st Viscount Trenchard, is widely regarded as the Father of the RAF after being appointed the first Chief of the Air Staff when the RAF was formed in 1918.

However, it is less well known that he was born at Haines Hill in Taunton in 1873 and spent his childhood at Courtlands in Norton Fitzwarren.

Hugh Trenchard, the 3rd Viscount Trenchard, was guest of honour for the road naming and unveiled a new memorial to his grandfather.

He was joined by local dignitaries and representatives from the Royal Air Force, Royal Air Force Association, Royal British Legion and other members of the Armed Forces community, along with Cadets from 41F (Taunton & District) Squadron Devon and Somerset Wing ATC.

Somerset County Gazette:

Councillor David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “This will raise the profile of the Trenchard name and provide a permanent reminder for future generations of our link to the Royal Air Force.

"In many ways, this memorial is long overdue but I’m pleased we’ve been able to put this right in the RAF’s centenary year.”

Councillor John Williams, Leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council, said: “I am delighted that we are honouring such an eminent ‘son of Taunton’.

"The nation owes a huge debt to Hugh Trenchard for founding the RAF. I look forward to welcoming the current Lord Trenchard to our county town.”

Somerset County Gazette:

Tom Mayberry, Chief Executive of the South West Heritage Trust, said: “Viscount Trenchard was a remarkable man who helped to change the course of Britain’s 20th century history.

"It’s very appropriate that he’s now being remembered in the town of his birth.”

The ceremony started at 2.30pm directly opposite Station Approach. Trenchard Way was closed between Station Approach and Chip Lane for the event.