David Humphrey – a career of writing with light (“Luce Sribimus”)

David served 45 years with the Ministry of Defence, 22 years as a photographer with the Dave HumphreyRoyal Air Force, followed by 23 years as an Instructional officer with the Defence School of Photography.

He appeared on BBC TV programme “Inside Out” and the Channel 4 TV documentary series “Time watch” featuring a missing wartime photo reconnaissance pilot. He appeared on similar documentaries for the American Discovery channel series “Spies in the Sky” and the Australian Discovery channel programme “Last plane out of Berlin”.

Born in Birmingham in 1940 and educated at St Phillips Grammar School, he joined the RAF in the late fifties to “see the world”.  He spent half his career living abroad in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

He served with ships of Royal Navy as the principle photographer to the Commander-in-Chief of NATO in Malta (1963-65), and was attached to Army units as a reconnaissance and surveillance specialist in Aden (1967). He became an Associate Member of the British Institute of Professional Photography in 1972.

David continued his association with the Ministry of Defence as an Instructing Officer in 1982, training servicemen and women at the Defence School of Photography, retiring in November 2004.

David demonstrates the WW2 F24 aerial camera to the late Lord Lichfield, June 2000.
David demonstrates the WW2 F24 aerial camera to the late Lord Lichfield, June 2000.

He continues to hold a keen interest in the history of military photography, being the founder and curator of the Museum of Military Photography (opened by the late Lord Lichfield, at the RAF Museum, Cosford).

David and his wife Carole, were married aboard Concorde in 1996 and he was awarded the C-in-C’s commendation on 30th April 1996.

They travelled extensively in the USA, Portugal and France. Since his retirement in 2004, they enjoy visits to Portugal, Poland, Cyprus and enjoy cruising. Their home, at the Hunting Lodge, overlooks the beautiful Bomere Lake near Condover, Shrewsbury. In 2015 he published his book, “Legends and heroes – behind the lens”, reintroduced the “museum” as the “Centenary Room” at DSOP and founded the RAF Photographers Memorial at the NMA.

Sadly, Dave passed away on 31 August 2016, our condolences go out to Carole and family. His legacy lives on at the School of Photography and through these pages.