The Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede

Like Quiet Ghosts

I love the way this memorial is drenched in light whenever I visit; I love the stone and the windows and the curves and the geometry of the place; l love the views over Runnymede all the way to London.  

I often stop to read some of the notes and tributes left here too.  They are fragments of family histories from all over the world:  letters to brothers and sisters, daughters and sons lost over seven decades ago; to lovers, husbands, fathers whose planes went down in the night; letters from great grandchildren who never knew their relatives; pale facsimiles of dreaded telegrams; fresh flowers, fake flowers, and expressions of gratitude.  An unsettling mixture of grief and peace.

With the permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, who maintain the memorial so beautifully, I’m working on a photographic project about this place.  I photograph it often, in different lights and different seasons.  The building always gives me something new to look at.  But I’d like to depict people too.  

If you have a connection to this building, and would be happy to talk to me and perhaps have your picture taken there, I would love to hear from you.

January 2021 update: I’ve been so touched by all the people who’ve written, from all over the world, to say these pictures have moved them. In particular, my thoughts are with those who’ve always wanted to visit, but whose circumstances have always prevented it. It’s been my pleasure to visit on their behalf, to find their relative’s name inscribed on its panel, and to photograph it for them with a bunch of rosemary, for remembrance, from my garden.

To get in touch, click here or:

Email: kate@katecarpenter.com

Telephone: 07818 407772

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