This year I have started to appreciate Wiltshire's military past, and there are a lot of long abandoned RAF bases which are little more than footnotes in history. But concrete remnants often provide clue to the past and RAF Ramsbury is no exception to this as this photo from Google Earth shows - the shape of the perimeter is still intact and more can be seen at ground level. While there are concrete remains, there is nothing to tell you of the part the airfield played in D-Day and the liberation of Europe. But in 2019 this is about to change.
Back in the run up to Remembrance Day in 2018, the Woodland Trust was offering free trees to be planted. This gave local resident Claire Costello an idea to to something for RAF Ramsbury. After engaging support from the Kennet Valley at War Trust, they found a place to plant 420 trees thanks to local landowner and farmer Peter Wilson. So on 10th November 2018, over 80 volunteers came together to plant the trees in a wood close to the old runway. At 11am, a two minute silence was observed and a bugler played the Last Post.
On Sunday June 9, 2019, a commemoration service at the airfield will officially open a new information board, as well as Remembrance plaque and a Memorial stone. All of these will be placed onto original concrete blocks which were part of the the RAF base. This will take place 75 years and 3 days since the D-Day landings. I will attend and report back on this site with photos.
This is a wonderful example of how local groups in Wiltshire can come together and collaborate to create something that honours the past, but will survive into the future. As the base was used by the RAF and the USAF, it will also provide a place where relatives of our American friends can pay homage to their family members.
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