Saturday, September 12, 2020

 A visit to the Royal Air Force Memorial overlooking the Thames at Runnymede

My Uncle John's name is on this memorial - Pilot Officer John Michael Campbell RAFVR. 

His name is on Panel 123.  He was killed in 1943.

There are 20,000 names on this memorial - airmen who died for our country in World War II and have no known grave.

Recently our family received some extraordinary news. Uncle John's aeroplane - a Stirling bomber - has been found deep in a lake in Holland where it fell. It was identified by its number...and the crew were identified when Uncle John's silver cigarette case was found, bearing his initials JMC. The Dutch army is now helping to recover the aeroplane, and a local museum honours the crew. The Dutch are grateful to the Royal Air Force for helping to liberate their country from Nazi occupation.

The Queen's words at the opening of the Runnymede memorial in 1953 have never seemed more important.  At Runnymede King John signed Magna Carta, establishing the freedoms that British people have treasured down the years. 

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