Our tour started in the rain as we left our hotel for Runnymede where we stopped at the site where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. Magna Carta still forms an important symbol of liberty today, often cited by politicians and campaigners, and is held in great respect by the British and American legal communities, Lord Denning describing it as "the greatest constitutional document of all times – foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot" years ago.
We left this place of democracy to visit the Memorial to those who lost their lives fighting for democracy and who have no known grave, where, the Air Forces Memorial that overlooks the River Thames on Cooper's Hill at Englefield Green at Runnymede and commemorates by name over 20,000. We conducted a small Service and laid a poppy below the name on the wall of Flying Officer Walter Ernest Marsh RAAF, killed 22 May 1944 age 33. Son of Elijah and Matilda and husband of Zillah of Glebe NSW Panel 257...Lest we Forget.
Leaving this place we made our way to Brooklands Museum where we we able to view many aircraft including the Vimy that was reconstructed to fly the same route to Australia that Kingsford Smith and his brother flew to win the prize for the first Australians to fly from the UK to Australia setting a record of 10.5 days. We also were able to see the Wellington that had been rescued from Loch Ness.
After our visit concluded we headed towards our next museum, the Army Aviation Museum at Middle Wallop. But first we called into a lovely country pub near Andover, the Kings Arms which was built in 1575 and became an Inn in 1675. During the Civil War, troops of King Charles 1 were billeted at the Kings Arms in October 1644 before the Second Battle of Newbury. It was interesting that the two girls serving us were Australian and came from Warwick and Narrabri.
After we had lunch we proceeded visit to the Museum. This museum holds the story of the use of the gliders in WW2. The gliders were used in quite a number of actions and on many occasion were misused resulting in heavy casualties. A very good museum enjoyed by all. We then headed into Salisbury where we would be staying for the next 3 nights. Our hotel is in the centre of the town. Tomorrow the Air Show at Yeovilton.