Opening and Closing Address

Good morning everyone.

For those who do not know me, my name is Chris Mercer.

May I say a big thank you to you all for attending today for this the RAF Photographers Memorial Dedication.

It was back in 2015 that Dave Humphrey launched an appeal for contributions for a RAF Photographers Memorial Stone / paviour, to be included here at the National Memorial Arboretum’s Hero’s Square. This exceptional idea was met with such positive support and generosity that personal donations raised all the necessary funding in just three months.

Sadly, on the 31st August last year David passed away.  Whilst he did come and view the finished stone engraving, he was unable to see the stone laid in Hero’s Square or witness it’s dedication.

So, today, on the first anniversary of David’s passing, we are here to complete the project on his behalf.

I would now like to call upon Padre Andi Chapman, RAF Cosford’s Chaplain to lead us through the Dedication Service. 1 mins silence in honour of those that have passed

Post Service.  

If we all now move to the Founders Room for refreshments.

Please pull up a sandbag, swing the light and join in the banter. Thank you

In Founders room

As many of you may know, Dave was a big character in Trade Group 14, both in uniform, as a civilian and later in life as a volunteer at the Defence School of Photography. He was the driving force behind the RAF Photographers Memorial, dedicated to ‘those who made a difference’ and Dave certainly qualified! Without Dave’s passion with this Memorial project we wouldn’t be here today.

I first met Dave when I joined the RAF as a Craft Apprentice at RAF Cosford in the early 70’s where he was one of my instructors, meeting again later at several postings throughout my Air Force career and again at the School of Photography Centenary in 2015.

Dave mentioned that he was looking for someone to build a Memorial website to compliment the Paviour, so I offered my services. With his instructions and my expertise, the website was created, dedicated to the memory of past members who attended the RAF School of Photography, many of whom have ‘made a difference’ over the years to Military Photography.

Not only does it contain a “Remembrance Parade” listing those more recently departed and a “Roll of Honour” but stories and ‘of course’ photographs gathered from many corners of the Military Photographic World. To date the website has had over 49,000 hits. And there is more information coming daily. You can find it at

Thank you