RAF Marham gets a war memorial in its 100th year

On the 24th November 2016, RAF Marham had the official opening of a memorial wall at the Aviation Heritage Centre located outside of base. The ceremony consisted of a dedication servie and laying of wreath, with both Stn Cdr Gp Capt Richard Davies and Padre Mellor in attendance. ANL-160112-111537001

On the 24th November 2016, RAF Marham had the official opening of a memorial wall at the Aviation Heritage Centre located outside of base. The ceremony consisted of a dedication servie and laying of wreath, with both Stn Cdr Gp Capt Richard Davies and Padre Mellor in attendance. ANL-160112-111537001

The RAF Marham Aviation Heritage Centre looks out on to the Remembrance Garden which provides a quiet space for contemplation, but until now RAF Marham has not had a war memorial.

But 2016 is the station’s centenary year and one of the special events was to plan and build a Memorial Wall to create an enduring memory of all of the airmen and airwomen who have been injured, gone missing, or have been killed, whilst based at RAF Marham and in the service of their country.

On the 24th November 2016, RAF Marham had the official opening of a memorial wall at the Aviation Heritage Centre located outside of base. Photo: SAC EDWARD WRIGHT RAF ANL-160112-111944001

On the 24th November 2016, RAF Marham had the official opening of a memorial wall at the Aviation Heritage Centre located outside of base. Photo: SAC EDWARD WRIGHT RAF ANL-160112-111944001

The Remembrance Garden outside the Aviation Heritage Centre was chosen as the ideal place to locate it.

The memorial is made in two parts; the first part was built by Cpl Jamie Fowler. He designed and built the base structure which is clad in red brick to represent the Peterborough red brick used to build some of the infrastructure of the base in the 1930s.

The structure base has a propeller blade mounted at the top of the pyramid shape, which was recovered from the crash site of a 7 Sqn Stirling Bomber which crashed in the sea off Denmark in 1941.

Although 7 Sqn was never based at Marham in the war, the story behind the prop -blade links to a serviceman called JJ Copley, an LAC at the time, who was on-board the Stirling when it was shot down. Copley had been posted from Marham to Oakington where 7 Sqn was based and he was the first airman to receive a DFM at Marham in World War II.

On the 24th November 2016, RAF Marham had the official opening of a memorial wall at the Aviation Heritage Centre located outside of base. Photo: SAC EDWARD WRIGHT RAF ANL-160112-111745001

On the 24th November 2016, RAF Marham had the official opening of a memorial wall at the Aviation Heritage Centre located outside of base. Photo: SAC EDWARD WRIGHT RAF ANL-160112-111745001

The second part of the memorial is the RAF Marham Memorial Wall. This was built by Derek and Daniel Hardy, BAe employees, who in their spare time have worked with the Lightning project to reclaim 550 original bricks from No 3 Hangar.

Petroglyph Engraving produced the title plaque and station crest which will be mounted along with seven memorial plaques sponsored by the families or veterans.

These simple plaques are designed to provide a memory of a person who has served at RAF Marham.

Steve Roberts, curator and manager of the Heritage Centre, said: “It has been a very moving experience, working with the team building the monuments and liaising with the families of those airmen and women we are honouring. It has been a privilege to meet so many friends and family and I am pleased they were able to make it here this afternoon for the service and memorial dedication”.