Wooded Hill



Wooded Hill


Eulogy concerning unveiling of the Runnymede memorial and those who died with no known grave. Also acknowledges the Kohima memorial. Goes on with brief explanation of RAF role in the war.




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[margin] [italics] “The odds were great: our margins small; the stakes infinite” [/italics] [/margin]

A Wooded hill

[italics] Returning from operational missions in the dusk or the dawn, countless airmen of the Second World War saw below their wing tips the faint and silvered gleam of the Thames, a wooded hill and a green meadow, and wearily yet gladly were aware of homecoming. The hill is called [underlined] Cooper’s Hill [/underlined], and the meadow over which it looks has its centuries’ old fame as Runnymede . . .

On Cooper’s Hill to day, this October afternoon when the War is more than eight years past, there is unveiled by the QUEEN, in the presence of a great and distinguished concourse, a memorial to more than 20,000 members of the Air Forces of the Commonwealth who died in operations over Britain and N.W. Europe and have no known grave. [/italics] [symbol] [symbol] [symbol]

[margin] [symbol] Lest we forget [/margin]

On Another, smaller memorial in remote kohima on the Assam-Burma border, there are inscribed a few words which are especially applicable to this memorial and this ceremony: “ FOR YOUR TO-MORROW WE GAVE OUR TO-DAY”.

[italics] HERE is that to-morrow, earned by courage and endurance, and sanctified by sacrifice. The hill, the meadow and the river, the little villages and towns of all the smiling valley, are at peace now – a peace bought by the valour of those whose names are inscribed upon this memorial. [symbol] [symbol] [symbol]

They came not home from a long fighter patrol over the Channel or the North Sea, from a grim Bomber Command mission into the heart of Germany.

Day after day, night after night, for nearly six years their battle endured. Few, indeed, of those who were in it at the outset survived to see its culmination, its victory and its vindication, and most of those few were scarred by their ordeal, grounded and deskbound. [/italics]

[margin] [crest] [/margin]

[italics] YET the tradition of the R.A.F. and of all its sister Forces from the rest of the Commonwealth was sustained from the first day to the last; and it was strangely ironic that, while the back-to-the wall days of 1940 had their joy and their zest, the days of overwhelming triumph were deeply tinged with sadness, sadness for the youth and the beauty that were lost.

Now it is all remembered history. The hymn peals out in the still bright air; and as the bugle proclaims the salute of the living to the dead, joy and grief are mingled and the last, clear, undying note asserts the simple stern truth that this is a story without end . . Yesterday passes the torch to to-morrow and another young generation looks eagerly to the skies to find new adventures new endeavours, new duties. [/italics]

TO [symbol] THE [symbol] GLORY [symbol] OF [symbol] GOD For World Peace

Illustrated & Scribed by E.W. Hugh White. Flight Lieutenant 88902. November 11th 1953 AD.



E W Hugh White, “Wooded Hill,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 13, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/38350.

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