The Remembrance Rugby Match is always an emotional affair, with the game playing an important role in remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
The military side were looking to secure back-to-back wins away at the Bears after winning 42-26 in last year's fixture.
RAF and London Irish star Josh McNally put his team in front with an uncoverted try before Bristol got back on level terms through Sam Graham.
As the home side gained momentum, UKAF struggled to deal with their set piece prowess - giving away a successsion of penalties which were all confidently dispatched by fly-half Tiff Eden to make it 11-5.
Reiss Cullen scored a try, with Eden kicking the conversion to put Bristol 18-5 up at half-time.
UKAF responded well at the start of the second half - a fantastic try from captain Rob Bell and the following conversion saw UKAF claw their way back into the game.
The Bears lead was extended again through a Brandon Petite try, before a lung-busting try from RAF and UKAF winger Toby Mann made the final moments of the game a tense watch.
In the end, Bristol held on to win 30-22.
UKAF team captain, Flight Lieutenant Rob Bell, said: "We (the team) spoke about it (Remembrance) on Monday and lets mark the occasion the best we can.
"So even though we didn't get the victory, I thought the sort of style and grit we showed was fitting of the occasion."