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  Runnymede Air Forces Memorial






Location Information

This Memorial overlooks the River Thames on Cooper's Hill at Englefield Green between Windsor and Egham on the A308, 4 miles from Windsor.

Visiting Information

The Memorial is open every day except Christmas Day and New Years Day, as follows:

1 November - 31 March:
Weekdays: 09.00 - 16.00 hours or dusk whichever is sooner
Weekends & Public Holidays: 10.00 - 16.00 hours or dusk whichever is sooner

1 April - 31 October:
Weekdays: 09.00 - 18.00 hours or dusk whichever is sooner
Weekends & Public Holidays: 10.00 - 18.00 hours or dusk whichever is sooner

Disabled badge holders may use the on site parking area in front of the memorial. All other visitors requiring parking are asked to make use of the public car park some 200 yards from the memorial on Coopers Hill Lane.

Note:An Audio Guide to the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede is now available from our website at www.cwgc.org via the home page, News and Events/Latest News. This audio tour will guide you through the memorial at Runnymede, blending archive audio with contemporary information. The tour is in the MP3 format, a file type that can be played on any MP3 player and many mobile phones.

Please be aware that some of the files are large and may take time to download.

Historical Information

The Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede commemorates by name over 20,000 airmen who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe, and who have no known graves. They served in Bomber, Fighter, Coastal, Transport, Flying Training and Maintenance Commands, and came from all parts of the Commonwealth. Some were from countries in continental Europe which had been overrun but whose airmen continued to fight in the ranks of the Royal Air Force.

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. The Memorial was unveiled by The Queen on 17 October 1953.




Victoria Cross:


Rank: Wing Commander, Service No: 41452, Date of Death: 13/07/1943, Age: 26, Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force 44 Sqdn. , Awards: V C, Panel Reference Panel 118., Son of John Hennah Nettleton and Ethel Nettleton; husband of Betty Isobel Nettleton, of Paignton, Devon.

Citation: The London Gazette for 24th April, 1942, contains the following particulars: Squadron-Leader Nettleton was the leader of a bomber formation detailed to attack, in daylight on 17th April, 1942, the Diesel engine factory at Augsburg in Germany, a target of high military importance. To reach it and return meant a flight of one thousand miles over hostile territory. German fighters attacked, and only the leading bomber and one other remained to fly to the still distant target. Squadron-Leader Nettleton, with great spirit and almost defenceless, brought these two remaining aircraft, mostly at only fifty metres above the ground, to Augsburg, where they encountered intense anti-aircraft fire. Through fire from point-blank range, bombs were dropped on the target. The second aircraft was hit, burst into flames, and crash-landed. The leading aircraft, though riddled with holes, flew safely back to base, the only one of six to return. Squadron-Leader Nettleton, who has successfully undertaken many other hazardous operations, displayed unflinching determination as well as leadership and valour of the highest order.



1591345 Sergeant

George Bernard Fitzgerald

644 sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve


Panel 229.


Picture courtesy of Mary Jean Kirby, his niece



552951 Sergeant

Robert William Gooch

97 Sqdn.

Royal Air Force

14th January 1944, aged 20.

Panel 230.


Son of William Lawrence Gooch and Agnes Gooch, of West Bromwich, Staffordshire.


42117 Pilot Officer

Colin George Nairne

75 Sqdn., Royal New Zealand Air Force

Killed in action on 30th July 1942, aged 22.

Panel 263.


Born 8 Apr 1922 Palmerston North, New Zealand

Son of William Joseph and Alice Elizabeth Nairne; husband of Betty Olive Nairne, of Richmond, Nelson, New Zealand.


Remembered by Keith Springer






R/108246 Flight Engineer

Sydney Stuart Smith

434 Sqdn. Royal Canadian Air Force

between 20/12/1943 & 21/12/1943,

 aged 20.

Panel 187.


Son of Arthur G. and Veronika E. Smith, of Lachine, Province of Quebec, Canada.



Image courtesy of first cousin, once removed, Chris Burke



415034 Flying Officer

Noel William Springer

547 Sqdn., Royal New Zealand Air Force

Killed in action on 18th August 1943 in the Bay of Biscay, aged 22.

Panel 198.


Born in Wakefield, Nelson, New Zealand on 23 Oct 1920.

Son of Ernest and Constance E. L. Springer, of Wakefield, Nelson, New Zealand.


Remembered by Keith Springer


405008 Sergeant

Ralph Alexander Wilson

Royal Australian Air Force

26th July 1942, aged 20.

Panel 113.


Son of Allan Martin Wilson and Ethel Marjorie Wilson, of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


402823 Flight Lieutenant

John William Yarra, D. F. M.

Royal Australian Air Force

10th December 1942, aged 21.

Panel 108.


Son of Alfred Ernest and Harriet Yarra, of Grafton, New South Wales, Australia.