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Air Forces Memorial, Runnymede
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Air Forces Memorial Runnymede.jpg
Showing portico entrance, look-out wing and astral crown surmounting the central chapel.
For Commonwealth Air Forces dead of World War II with no known grave
Unveiled 17 October 1953 by HM Queen Elizabeth II
Location 51°26′16″N 0°33′54″W / 51.4378°N 0.5650°W / 51.4378; -0.5650Coordinates: 51°26′16″N 0°33′54″W / 51.4378°N 0.5650°W / 51.4378; -0.5650
near 
Egham Surrey England
Designed by Edward Maufe
Commemorated Over 20,000 Commonwealth Air Forces personnel including those with acting RAF, AuxAF or WAAF rank such as SOE operatives

The Air Forces Memorial, or Runnymede Memorial, in Englefield Green, near Egham, Surrey, England is a memorial dedicated to some 20,456 men and women from air forces of the British Empire who were lost in air and other operations during World War II. Those recorded have no known grave anywhere in the world, and many were lost without trace. The name of each of these airmen and airwomen is engraved into the stone walls of the memorial, according to country and squadron.

Design

The memorial was designed by Sir Edward Maufe with sculpture by Vernon Hill. The engraved glass and painted ceilings were designed by John Hutton, and the poem engraved on the gallery window was written by Paul H Scott. It was the first post-World War II building to be listed for architectural merit.

The roof of the memorial looks over the River Thames and Runnymede Meadow, where Magna Carta was sealed by King John in 1215. Most of north, west, and central London can be seen to the right from the viewpoint; such monuments as the London Eye and the arch of Wembley Stadium are visible on clear days. Windsor Castle and the surrounding area can be seen to the left.

Location

The memorial is on Coopers Hill Lane, Englefield Green, next to the former Runnymede campus of Brunel University and Kingswood Hall of Royal Holloway, University of London since 1965 when it was converted from a convent.

For location map, showing its proximity to other Runnymede memorials, see Runnymede.

Status

It is a Grade II* listed building and was completed in 1953.

People memorialised

  • Flight Lieutenant Howard Peter Blatchford, Canadian Battle of Britain veteran pilot
  • Flying Officer David Moore Crook, fighter pilot
  • Flight Lieutenant Arthur ('Art') Donahue, American RAF Flying ace, author
  • Flight Lieutenant John Dundas, flying ace
  • Wing Commander Brendan (Paddy) Finucane, flying ace
  • Squadron Leader Hilary Hood, Battle of Britain pilot casualty
  • First Officer ATA Amy Johnson, aviator
  • Pilot Officer Vernon ('Shorty') Keogh, American RAF Battle of Britain pilot
  • Assistant Section Officer Noor Inayat Khan, GC recipient, SOE agent
  • Flight Lieutenant Eric Lock, flying ace
  • Pilot Officer William (Willie) McKnight, Canadian flying ace
  • Wing Commander John Dering Nettleton, VC recipient
  • Pilot Officer Esmond Romilly, anti-fascist writer
  • Pilot Officer Derek Teden, England rugby international
  • Wing Commander Alois Vasatko, Czech flying ace
  • Squadron Leader Geoffrey Warnes of No. 263 Squadron RAF
  • Sergeant Leslie Lack, pre-war Arsenal F.C. football player
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