The Korean War Memorial, London

On July 27th 1953, the Korean War, a very much ‘forgotten’ war, came to an end. For over 50 years, the 81,084 British Troops who were sent there feel they have had little official recognition from the authorities or public.

The Memorial stands overlooking the Thames.

However, on the 3rd December 2014,  320 veterans and 180 other guests, watched as HRH the Duke of Gloucester unveiled a new memorial on the Embankment next to the Royal Air Force, Fleet Air Arm and Battle of Britain memorials.

The memorial, which was a gift from the Republic of Korea in honour of the British Troops sent there, stands six metres high and was carved by Philip Jackson – famed for carvings of Sports personalities, artists and the Gurkha Memorial. It shows a Bronze statue of a soldier, head bowed, standing on a base of Welsh Slate in front of an obelisk of Portland Stone. Dressed in winter wear, the statue reflects the tiredness of constant rain, and the never-ending battle against both a determined enemy and the elements.

Behind the weary soldier are several carvings, including a mountainous landscape representing Korea’s environment, along with a number of inscriptions. On the base, to the front, reads (in both English and Korean)

“With gratitude for the sacrifice made by the British Armed Forces in defence of freedom and democracy in the Republic of Korea.”

To the North side of the memorial is a further inscription:

“The Korean War was the first UN action against aggression. The UN forces that fought the North Korean invasion were drawn from 21 countries. Although exhausted and impoverished after the Second World War, Britain responded immediately by providing strong naval, army and air forces and became the second largest contributor after the United States. A distant obligation honourably discharged.”

On the south side of the obelisk, below the Union Flag, it reads:

“In this fierce and brutal conflict those who fought included many Second World War veterans reinforced by reservists and young national servicemen. The land battle was fought against numerically superior communist forces, the terrain was mountainous and the weather extreme. 81,084 British servicemen served in the theatre of operations. 1,106 were killed in action, thousands were wounded and 1,060 suffered as prisoners of war.”

The Korean War was the first UN action and took troops from 21 different countries, many of whom had only just started to recover from the Second World War. For their action, two British Soldiers were awarded the highest military honour – the Victoria Cross – but yet despite this, it still remains very much a ‘forgotten war’.

HMS Triumph

HMS Triumph as she appeared in my father’s photo album on return from Korea.

Much of the fighting took place around the 38th Parallel, a point that once stabilised, became not only the border between North and South Korea, but the Russians and the West in what would be a long and at times trying Cold War.

The memorial stands facing the Thames, amongst a number of other memorials outside the Ministry of Defence building on the north embankment and forms a group of Korean memorials. These include a plaque in the crypt of St Paul’s, and two other memorials in the National Arboretum in Staffordshire and in Bathgate, Scotland.

This memorial stands as a reminder of a short war, but for those who took part, it is a timely reminder of the sacrifice that they and their colleagues made.

The unveiling of the memorial.


A website dedicated to the Korean War Veterans can be found here.

Other major memorials can be found here and RAF / USAAF memorials here.

Aircrews struck at the Very Heart of the Gestapo

In this trail we head to the south once more, to the west of Harlow and to two wartime airfields, one of which played a major part in striking a blow at the very heart of the Nazi regime.

Hertfordshire is an area rich in commuters to both London and the technological towns of Harlow and Bishops Stortford. Being north of London, it is also close to Stansted airport, another ex World War 2 airfield.

It has some beautiful countryside, delightful little villages and quaint country pubs. It is also an area with a wealth of history.

Our first stop is a small airfield nestled in the heart of the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside behind the village that gives it its name, RAF Hunsdon.

RAF Hunsdon

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The Hunsdon Village sign reflects its history and links to the RAF.

RAF Hunsdon was built between October 1940 and March 1941, it was a constructed with two concrete runways, one N/S initially of 1,250 (extended to 1,450 yds) and the main E/W of 1,450 yds (also extended by a further 300 yds). Aircraft dispersals amounted to 18 hardstands, 16 Blister hangars around the perimeter, a Bellman Hangar, fuel dump and accommodation for up to 440 airmen and about 270 WAAFs, in 8 dispersed sites.

Hunsdon is within a stones throw of London and its main role was that of night fighter operations. A number of operational units (in excess of 25) would pass though it doors during it relatively short life, including: 3, 21, 29, 85, 151, 154, 157, 264, 287, 409 (RCAF), 410 (RCAF), 418 (RCAF), 442, (RCAF), 464 (RAAF), 487 (RNZAF), 488 (RNZAF), 501, 515, 530 (initially 1451 Turbinlite flight), and 611sqn, providing Hunsdon with a multinational mixture of crews.

The first unit to arrive was that of 85 sqn with Douglas Havocs IIs, followed by Mosquitos II, XV and XIIs; other models to be seen at Hunsdon included: Hurricanes, Defiants, Beaufighters, and the Mustang to name but a few. 85 Squadron, which went on to a long and distinguished career, staying for two years from May 1941 to May 1943 before moving to West Malling where it continued its night fighter role. 85 sqn was eventually disbanded in 1990/91.

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The Parachute store now holds farm machinery.

The first DH Mosquito, for which Hunsdon is most commonly known, arrived in 1943 with Mosquito VIs. Around this point, the Air Ministry decided to form a new wing designated 140 Wing RAF. This wing would consist of 21 Squadron (RAF), 464 squadron (RAAF) and 487 squadron (RNZAF) all based at Hunsdon and would be part of the RAF Second Tactical Air Force (2TAF) designed to support troops in the forthcoming invasion.

Between 1944 and 1945 140 Wing would carry out a number of daring low-level bombing raids against key Gestapo buildings and prisons in occupied Europe. These famous raids were designed to free captive resistance fighters and destroy important Gestapo documents. Operation Carthage took place in Denmark and occurred whilst the wing was based at RAF Fersfield in 1945, but the first, Operation Jericho, was whilst they were based at Hunsdon in early 1944.

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Pill boxes of various types, line the perimeter of the airfield.

On February 18th that year, 19 Mosquitos including a photo reconnoissance model, led by Group Captain Percy C. Pickard (DSO and two bars, DFC), took off to attack, breech or destroy the walls and main building of the Amiens prison*1. A famously brave act, it resulted in the death of 3 crew members; G.Capt. Percy C. Pickard, and F. Lt. John A. Broadley, (RNZAF), both in Mosquito HX922, ‘EG-F’;  and F. Lt. Richard W. Samson, (RNZAF) in Mosquito MM404, ‘SB-T’. Samson’s pilot, S. Ldr. A. I. McRitchie survived his crash and was taken as a prisoner of war. Two Typhoons escorting the Mosquitos also failed to return home. Considered a success at the time, evidence has since come to light to suggest that the operation was ‘unnecessary’ and may have failed to achieve anything more than a successful PR role.

A further significant role that Hunsdon was to take part in, was that of the Turbinlite Trials. These were relatively unsuccessful as aircraft operations, and were soon withdrawn as better radar equipped fighters were produced. The idea behind Turbinlite was to adapt an aircraft, initially the Havoc II, or Boston III with the fitting of a large 2,700 million candle searchlight to the front of the aircraft. These would then fly at night, locate enemy bombers whereupon escorting fighters would shoot them down. Several adaptations attempted to improve the ‘kill’ rate but to no avail. At Hunsdon, this unique method of fighter interception was carried out by 530 Sqn (initially 1451 Flight), who were formed on 8th September 1942. As one of ten Turbinlite squadrons,  they did not last and were disbanded only four months later on 25th January 1943.

As the war progressed and the end was in sight, Hunsdon’s role changed to that of long-range fighter escort, all be it for a brief period. P-51 Mustangs would operate escorting bombers deep into enemy territory before the conflict finally ceased in 1945.

Hunsdon then closed to operational activity very quickly, being used to receive returning men and materials up until mid 1946 whereupon it was placed into Care and Maintenance and quickly ran down. The tower was demolished very soon after the war ended, and the site was returned to agriculture. In total, Hunsdon’s crews accounted for over 220 enemy aircraft destroyed or damaged – a remarkable feat in any squadron’s chapter.

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Remnants of the main runway looking West.

Today Hunsdon remains one of the more accessible airfields of Britain. A number of public footpaths criss-cross its boundaries allowing unprecedented access to it. It is still an active site, a small microlight operation exists here and has done since 1997. Using three small grass runways it has brought life, in albeit a small part, back to this old wartime airfield.

The perimeter track and narrow sections of all its runways still exist today and can be walked using a variety of footpaths. Along these paths and off to the sides can still be seen examples of runway lighting, drainage, inspection covers and even a small number of buildings.

The parachute store is one of the most notable of these, used by the farmer for storage, it is located at the north-western side of the airfield near to the former admins site and where the tower would have stood before being torn down. Also near here is the fire tender shed, now home to the local shooting club, a number of latrines \ wash blocks can also be found hidden amongst the trees to the south-east. The battle headquarters rests nestled amongst the crops still watching over the site, and small defence trenches and shelters can be found to the north and again these are visible from public footpaths. A number of airfield defences buildings in the form of pill boxes and an Oakington style pillbox can also be found around the site.

Many of these examples are buried amongst the undergrowth and are most easily seen in winter when the thorns and vegetation are at their lowest. Careful searching will also reveal a number of minor archeological examples but again best in the winter when crops and weeds are minimal.

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An air-raid shelter no longer covered with soil.

To the northern side of the airfield, next to where the microlight site is based, is a memorial to the crews of all nationalities who were based here all those years ago. Formed from a propeller boss of a Mosquito, it was donated to by the former Mosquito Museum (now de Havilland Aircraft Museum – Trail 5), it stands proud looking down what was the length of the secondary runway. A further memorial plaque can also be found on the wall of the village hall.

Hunsdon is a small site with a big history. It played a large part in trials of new innovations, carried out night intruder missions, and attacked with daring at low-level, at the very heart of the Gestapo. Hunsdon and its crews proudly earned their place in the annals of world history.

After walking Hunsdon we travel the short distance to the north-east to the outskirts of Bishop Stortford and a little known about airfield that is all but gone. We go to RAF Sawbridgeworth.

*1 – There is some debate as to the validity of the Amiens raid, one of the French Resistance fighters has now revealed his doubts, and that it may have been some propaganda or diversionary attack. A book has been written by author Simon Parry and historian Dr Jean-Pierre Ducellier entitled The Amiens Raid – Secrets Revealed‘ and is published by Red Kite.

RAF Witchford a revisit to a fascinating airfield.

I originally visited RAF Witchford some time ago but was lucky enough to have an invite to a gathering taking place earlier this month at the site. It was a very memorable day indeed. Trail 11, which this forms part, can be found here.

RAF Witchford

Witchford is found a few miles East of Mepal in the shadows of Ely Cathedral. Now an industrial estate, a large amount of the site is still in existence (and being used) and freely accessible to the general public. This makes it one of the rarer airfields around in terms of visiting.

RAF Witchford Perimeter Track Looking South

RAF Witchford Perimeter Track Looking South, the B1 Hangar is to your right.

A typical triangular Class A airfield, it had two runways of 1,408 and 1,415 yards and a further main runway of 2,010 yards, all concrete and 50 yards in width. The technical site was located on the western side of the airfield behind the long and straight perimeter track. A number of Nissen workshop huts were constructed along with the standard 343/43 Watch Office, Braithwaite water tower and 150 or so supporting buildings. As with all bomber airfields, the bomb store was well away from accommodation and was located to the southern side. Being a large airfield, it had three hangars, two T2 and one B1, and a total of 36 loop-type dispersed hardstandings.

The accommodation sites (14 in total), were spread out well behind the technical site predominately where the village now stands and beyond. The main entrance to the airfield, also to the west, is now a small track leading to housing known as Bedwell Hey Lane. In total Witchford was designed to accommodate 1,502 men and 230 female ranks and it officially became operational in July / August 1943.

Original Stores Hut

Original Nissen Hut now used for stores.

Witchford was served initially by Stirling IIIs of the newly formed 196 sqn RAF, whose first operational flight took place on August 28th that year. But as heavy operational losses built up, it soon became obvious that the large bomber was ‘unsuitable’ for long distance bombing missions and gradually, squadron by squadron, they were replaced by the more superior Lancaster to which the business park gets it’s modern name.  As these Stirlings became obsolete for front line use many were redeployed covering glider towing, mine laying and transport duties.

During September to November 1943 a number of changes were to happen at Witchford. A second squadron, 195 sqn RAF, was reformed at Witchford (October 1st 1943) using elements of 115 sqn, who were at that time, based at Little Snoring (Trail 22) in Norfolk.

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Inside the Nissen Hut.

A further unit, 513 Squadron, also formed at Witchford (15th September) again using the ill-fated Stirlings. However, 513 sqn never became operational, and were disbanded only two months later.

On the night of 26th November 1943, 12 aircraft of 115 Squadron left RAF Little Snoring in Norfolk, to attack the German capital, Berlin. On return, they were to land at their new station RAF Witchford where the ground staff had moved to that very day. Only one aircraft did not make it back that night and this meant that 115 sqn (who in August 1941 had taken part in trials of GEE) were now totally based at Witchford. 115 were still using the Armstrong Whitworth (Bagington) built Lancaster IIs with their Bristol Hercules engines. (My father, the inspiration to my love of aircraft, worked for Armstrong Whitworth at the Bagington site not long after being demobbed). It was with these aircraft that the Squadron dropped the first 8000 lb bomb on Berlin during Air Chief Marshal Harris’s bombing campaign against the German capital.

In March 1944, 115 sqn began replacing its Mk IIs with the Merlin engined Mk I and IIIs, aircraft it flew until hostilities ceased in 1945.

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Currently a stable, the original building will become a Gymnasium.

Enemy intruder missions over Allied Airfields were common place, and Witchford and her neighbour Mepal, were no exception. On the night of April 18th and 19th 1944 an ME 410 joined the circuit over nearby Mepal (see above) and shot down two Lancasters both from 115 sqn. A further intruder mission also occurred on the night of April 2oth / 21st but luckily there were no fatalities and little damaged was caused in this attack.

When 115 sqn’s war finally came to an end, it had one of the finest records in Bomber Command. A total of 678 operations in all, second only to 75(NZ) Sqn at Mepal. But the price was high, 208 aircraft being shot down or lost in action. Witchford as an airfield closed in March 1946 with the withdrawal of all operational units at the end of hostilities.

Today the site is a small business park, located on the western side of the airfield with a wide range of businesses working where the main Technical site of the field once stood. On entering the park, you drive down a long straight road, this is the original perimeter track. On your right is where the main hangars and maintenance area would have been located. The original B1 still stands today, but it is heavily transformed with new cladding and metal work. If you drive the length of this road you come to a security gate. Just to your right are a number of small huts. These are the original stores and in remarkable condition. Used by local businesses they house machinery and other equipment, but their features and layout clearly represent airfield architecture. Tucked away in here, in the foyer of one of the businesses, is a small but significant museum dedicated to the crews and personnel of RAF Witchford and nearby Mepal. It has a fantastic array of photographs, personal items and one of the Bristol Hercules engines from the downed 115 sqn Lancaster II. A free museum, it has a bizarre feeling to it as workers casually walk through between offices while you peruse the items neatly displayed on the walls. Do spend some time here; it is a fascinating insight into life on the base. (Further details are available later in the blog).

RAF Witchford Memorial Looking South

RAF Witchford Memorial Looking South

After leaving the museum, return back up the road taking the first right turn. On your right is the location of the control tower – now long gone. This brings you onto the remains of the main runway. If you drive to the top and turn back, you will see that it has been cut by a hedge that now separates the runway with the field. To the left of the hedge, you can still see the concrete remains of the original track. Continue to the top and turn the corner, then turn right.

RAF Witchford 'Diary'

RAF Witchford ‘Diary’

This is the threshold of the runway and joining perimeter and is marked by a superb memorial dedicated to the crews of the airfield. Also on here, is the remarkable ‘factual diary’ of the squadron and makes for very interesting reading. Look back south from here you have views across the airfield, along the perimeter track and down the runway; you just can sense the roar of lumbering bombers on their way to occupied Europe.

If you now leave the site, and turn left out of the park, follow the road down and turn left. Drive along as far as you can and stop at the gate. This is Bedwell Hey Lane and the original main entrance to the airfield. Vehicle access is only by permission, but a ‘kissing gate’ allows walkers free access and walks across the field. Go through. On your right are the entrances to various works stations, denoted by covered brickworks, further along to your left is the site of the original guard-house. keep going, and on your left you will see the Nissen huts mentioned previously. You finally arrive at the rear of the security gate you were at earlier. There are several occurences of a worker having stood in the wet concrete, these footprints can be found at numerous points around the site, especially here. Turn right and walk through another farm gate and you are on the remainder of the perimeter track. From here you can walk around a large portion of the perimeter track, having great views across the field. In a short distance you join where the threshold of the second runway would have been, it too is now all but gone.

RAF Witchford Holding point and Runway Threshold to the Right

RAF Witchford Holding point and Runway Threshold to the Right

Continue walking round the perimeter track, after a while, you see it narrows, the sides becoming overgrown with weeds, If you look in the adjacent fields, you will find a large quantity of former airfield drainage piping, scattered amongst pieces of building left after demolition. Eventually you arrive at a split in the track. Access straight on is not permitted, but you can take the right fork and in front you will see the low-lying remains of the armoury. Walking down this section will eventually bring you onto the main Ely to Cambridge road. If you look straight ahead and to the right from where you are standing, you will see the location of one of the two type T2 hangars.

RAF Witchford Perimeter Track Looking East - The Bomb Stores are to the Right

Witchford Perimeter Track Looking East – The Bomb Stores are to the Right, the T2 Hangar in Front

To your right and behind, is the bomb store, a significant size in its day, covered in huts and stores, bustling with activity; today there is sadly no remaining evidence of this busy section of the airfield.  However, this part of the perimeter track is well-preserved and shows use by the local farmer who now uses a  majority of the site. But looking across back toward the industrial area, you get a real sense of wartime activity, Lancasters and Stirlings rumbling where you now stand, bomb crews readying aircraft and vehicles hurrying from one aircraft to the next. Take in the atmosphere before walking back the way you came. Keep your eye open to the right. Part way along here, you can see along the length of what remains of the second runway along to the point where you stood earlier by the memorial. The original concrete still evident and witness to the many aircraft that flew from here. A poignant moment indeed. Continue back the way you came taking in views across the filed and the stores area.

RAF Witchford Runway Looking North

Remains of RAF Witchford Runway Looking North

After leaving the site, drive back along the main road away from Ely, you will pass a number of derelict buildings once used by the RAF at Witchford. Indeed one such building is now a small industrial unit, the others overgrown and in a poor state of disrepair. (Photos of both these buildings are available on flckr).

One of the happier stories to emerge from wartime Witchford is that of Sgt. Nicholas Alkemade, who given the choice of staying in his burning Lancaster, to die a terrible death, or jump minus his parachute, to a rather quicker death, opted for the latter. Amazingly for him, jumping from 18,000ft he landed in fir trees and soft snow, surviving with little injury. The Germans, after questioning him, confirmed his story after finding burnt sections of his parachute in the aircraft wreckage. He survived the war and returned to England later marrying his sweetheart. See his story here.

There are few wartime airfields today that exist in any form let alone accessible to the general public. Witchford has a few little gems tucked away in amongst the now busy business park, none more so than the museum and memorial. But walking round the perimeter track, you do so knowing that many years ago, Lancasters and Stirlings also rumbled here, and that many a young man left here never to return again.

On July 12th 2015, I was lucky enough to have been invited to join members of the 115 squadron Memorial project who have painstakingly researched the crash site and details of Lancaster ‘KO-Y’ DS 734, that took off from Witchford and crashed near Pasbrug, Mechelen, Belgium on the night of April 24th/25th, 1944.

Together with Sue Aldridge, one of the Museum founders, we met Dave Howell, son of Aubrey Howell DFC who flew Lancasters whilst at RAF Witchford. We were also given a short tour of the buildings by David Brand of Grovemere Holdings, the current land owners of both Witchford and Mepal sites. To them all I would like to say a huge thank you, It was a most memorable day and a great honour to have met you.

Sue and her husband Barry, have written a book ‘Memories of RAF Witchford’ which includes an enormous number of personal stories, photographs and detail about the life of RAF Witchford and the people who worked here. It is a must for anyone wanting to know more.

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The members of the Belgium memorial Project at Witchford July 2015.

Sources and Links.

‘Memories of RAF Witchford’ can be purchased from Sue, for details click here.

The 115 Squadron Memorial Project website can be found here.

Battle of Britain Memorial, London

In this the 75th anniversary year of the Battle of Britain, it is rather apt to include a mention of a further part of a Trail of major memorials. Another found in London outside the Ministry of Defence Building on the Northern Embankment, is that of the Battle of Britain.


Even on a cold and wet winters day it is an inspiring memorial placed near the busy junction at Westminster Bridge.

Sculpted by Paul Day, work on the site began in February 2005 with erection of a 82ft long granite base, in two parts, on which to stand the bronze sculpture. Created initially in wax, the sculptures were cast in bronze by Morrris Singer in sections, each section depicting a scene relating to the Battle. The memorial was finally opened by HRH the Prince of Wales on 18th September 2005.


The main and most significant section shows pilots as they ‘scramble’ to their waiting aircraft. Around this, are scenes referring to the women who helped not only in the factories and munitions works, but those who ferried the vital aircraft to their airfields. Other scenes depict: workers in a slit trench watching the battle rage overhead, the gunners defending the airfield, a dogfight, observers, mechanics and fitters all of whom worked tireless to keep the damaged aircraft flying. Further depictions show pilots at rest, drinking tea and relaxing telling tales of heroism and narrow escapes. A prominent picture that came out of the battle and the following blitz, was that of Saint Paul’s Cathedral standing proud of the smoke as all London burns around it. This too has been immortalised in bronze on another of the 14 scenes.

The detail of each panel is incredible. The emotion behind the eyes of those depicted grabs the passer-by and holds them, captured momentarily in time.


The entire battle is described through these characters, the romantic idea of the battle as seen by the farm workers, the joy of a victory from returning  crews, the tiredness after yet another sortie, and the fear as they run not knowing if this were to be a one way journey.

Around the scenes are the 2,937 names of the airmen who took part in Battle. As many records from the day were inaccurate, mislaid or destroyed it had to be decided upon what criteria  would be set in order to ‘qualify’ for a listing. This was that the pilot had to have flown between 10th July and 31st October 1940 and to have been awarded the Battle of Britain Clasp after flying at least one operational sortie in one of the recognised squadrons. A daunting task that took many hours of reading and research but was eventually completed and finalised as the 2,937 that appear today.  

There are 15 countries listed, covering 544 pilots who died during the battle and 795 who were to die by the end of the war. Interestingly, there is no Israeli mention, yet in the 1969 film made famous by its incredible cast, an Israeli pilot is mentioned. Perhaps this is due to the criteria used or inaccuracies in records used by the film.

Winston Churchill’s immortalised words ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few’ are etched into the  base of the memorial bringing the entire structure to life.

The detail on this memorial is incredible, just glance and you’ll miss it. The way each scene is depicted in great detail even down to the ruffles in the clothing, the emotion behind the eyes and the position of the various people, it is an awe-inspiring memorial that proudly and aptly reflects those who gave so much for so many.

The memorial is found on the Victoria Embankment opposite the London Eye to the East of Westminster Bridge.

Other major memorials can be found here.

RAF Little Snoring – Honours and Awards

In the heart of the Norfolk countryside stands a quaint little church with a round turret. Standing proud on top of a hill just outside the nearby village, the church holds a rare and unique collection of war records.

RAF Little Snoring (Trail 22) was home to a number of squadrons including the rare Bristol Hercules engined Lancaster IIs of both 1678 HCU and 115 Sqn and latterly units of 100 Group flying amongst others, the DH Mosquito.

At the end of the war the airfield was closed down, used primarily as a storage site for surplus aircraft prior to scrapping.

Many of the buildings were pulled down and runways dug up returning the site to its primary use of agriculture. Whilst a small section survived along with two hangars and a now derelict control tower, the church has become the holder of a rare collection.

In the Officers Mess of Little Snoring were four boards painstakingly hand painted by L.a.c Douglas Higgins of 23 Squadron between 1944 and 1945, on which the ‘Kills’ of the squadrons were recorded for prosperity. Never intended to be more than a trophy board, they have now become a unique ‘diary’ of the events that took place in the latter part of the Second World War.

The boards of St. Andrew’s holds a unique record

The four boards stand on the back wall of the church and were rescued by a local villager (Mrs E. Whitehead  the church warden) on demolition of the officers mess. The two to the left, list the ‘victories’ and the two to the right the squadron honours.

The first victory is listed as “30.1.44, 169 Sqn, S/L Cooper. F/Lt Connolly. Brandenburg Area. Me 110 destroyed”. The final entry shows eight unidentified aircraft as ‘damaged’ by F/Lt Davis and F.O. Cronin of 515 Sqn over the Kaufbeurin Airfield on the 24th, April 1945.

The first of the four boards starts 30th January 1944

Perhaps one of the most interesting entries is that of 20th, March 1945 when the Station Browning Battery of RAF Little Snoring damaged an attacking Ju 88 on an intruder mission.

A range of aircraft appear on the boards including: Do 217, Me 109, Me 110s, Me 262s, Ju 88s, Ju 52s, Fw 190s and Heinkel’s 111 and larger 177 bombers. Many of the latter entries being for action over enemy airfields toward the closing months of the war.

The final entry is dated 24th April 1945

The honours boards go back slightly earlier. The first 13 entires go to 115 Sqn for a range of honours including the:DFM, DFC and  DSO,  which began on August 1943 when Sergeant Rosonbloom was awarded the DFM.

The final entry is a mention in despatches for L.a.c , G.E. Harper, in September 1944.

Next to the boards is a moving and thoughtful poem written by L.a.c. S. Ruffle on his return to Little Snoring post war. He tells the tale of the airfield through his eyes and about his wartime friend, creater of the board, Douglas Higgins, even referring to the boards in his poem.

These boards stand as a reminder of both the many brave actions of crews and the airfield defence staff,  they are a permanent record of action from a small airfield tucked away in the Norfolk countryside.

Ruffles’s poem recalls his time at Little Snoring.