It tends to be assumed that the the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede (often simply known as Runnymede) commemorates only missing aircrew, those who flew on operations and never returned, their fate being unknown. However, it does in fact memorialise all RAF personnel who have no known grave. See: RAF Upwood Ground Crew Remembered at Runnymede
Prompted by an email enquiring about a death in an RAF plane crash in December 1949, I have set up a new page which gives details of exactly which people were included in the burial and commemorative programme run by the British. The page also explains why the date for inclusion ran up to 31 December 1947, two and half years after the war had ended in Europe. Inclusion in the National Commemorative Programme
Details of all those included in the national commemorative programme can be found on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s superb website. https://www.cwgc.org/find
This beautiful display marks the spot in Brummen, not far from Arnhem, where British PoWs who were being transported to Germany were shot by SS soldiers on 23 September 1944 after the battle for Arnhem was over. A memorial tablet affixed to the wall gives the names of the victims.
Following on yesterday’s post on the war graves at Bergen is the page O Valiant Hearts which I have just added to my own site, PER ARDUA: The Air War and Beyond. A quotation from this romantic and poignant hymn was used for the epitaph for Arthur North, who is buried at Bergen, and it reminded me of another RAF grave, that of Ernest Deverill. See this page: O Valiant Hearts
Here is another war graves photograph, slightly similar to that of David O’Connell in that the two graves in this photograph are also buried under a mountain of flowers. The graves are those of two young men of only twenty-two years of age. For more details follow this link: Pilot Officer Richards and Sergeant Arthur North of 105 Squadron.
What led me to David O’Connell was acquiring the beautiful battered old photograph of his grave, taken soon after his burial in January 1945. Despite the deep snow and the immense disruption caused by war, people had found a huge number of flowers to decorate his grave. He must have been very highly thought of, either personally or in a symbolic capacity as a member of the liberating British forces.