The surviving Battle of Britain airmen are given priority but otherrwise the service is open to all-comers. Tickets must be applied for in advance. There is a sizeable contingent of relatives of living and deceased veterans and the RAF are keen for this number to be increased. By definition the whereabouts of all relatives are unknown and the RAF have to rely on relatives coming forward and making contact.
Relatives are issued with distinctive tickets to enable them to congregate in the same part of the Abbey.
It is now accepted practice for the spouse or a close relative of a deceased war veteran to wear his or her medals on such an occasion. The only difference is that the medals are worn on the wearer’s right hand side i.e. on the left when looking at the wearer.
Details on applying for tickets for the 2017 Thanksgiving Service can be found here .