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.

Battle of Britain Memorial Capel-le-Ferne, Kent.

A recent revisit took me back to the Battle of Britain memorial at Capel-le-Ferne between Folkestone and Dover, in Kent. It sits high on the cliff-top, in a windy corner, a stones throw from the international docks at Dover, and the Battle of Britain airfield at Hawkinge. A ‘recent’ addition to the range of memorials, it is a poignant reminder of the young men who, from many nationalities, gave their lives in the name of freedom and the defence of this country.

Last time I was here, work was starting on the new visitor centre and the two replica aircraft, a Spitfire and Hurricane, had both been removed.

The replica Hurricane.

This week, on May 25th 2015, I went back to see what had been done.

The new centre is superb. First of all it has a good car park with ample space for a large number of cars.

The visitors centre itself has a bright open reception area and a small shop for souvenirs (I had to buy a book!) and upstairs a new cafe with a balcony overlooking the monument and across  the English Channel to France.

The Visitors center behind the ‘Wall of Honour’.

Entrance to the memorial is still free, but there is the option to try the ‘scramble’ experience, which I believe costs £6.00.

The Spitfire and Hurricane are both back, admittedly both are metal replicas but up here it gets very windy and the weather can change dramatically in seconds, so it’s probably for the best. They are certainly good replicas. 

The carved Pilot, sitting in the centre of a three-bladed propeller, gazes patiently out to sea, watching for his missing friends. Designed by Harry Gray of the Carving Workshop, Cambridge, the pilot is surrounded by the creats of those squadrons who took part in the famous battle in the Kent skies.

To either side, two large mounds, signify the locations of anti-aircraft batteries, now silent and filled in, perhaps two replica emplacements might add to the ‘feel’ of the site, although sometimes less is more.

As before, the monument is a quiet and moving place to sit; to read the names of those who gave their lives for us, and to absorb yourself in the battle through the numerous information panels around the site. From here you begin to imagine the vapour and smoke trails high above you and to think that Hitler and his invasion forces, stood not more than 30 miles away in the distant haze on the coast of France.

A big improvement to a very moving place.

RAF West Malling revisited. 

Around two years ago, I visited West Malling airfield in Kent to see what was left of this once historic place. Surprisingly, quite a bit did still survive albeit hidden amongst new buildings and office blocks.

Many of the ‘H’ blocks were left as was the Officer’s quarters and the control tower. The tower was shrouded in scaffolding and well hidden in the depths of a housing estate.

This May, I was in the area once more and decided to pop in and see what had become of the tower. Was it an office block, a museum dedicated to the men and women who were stationed here, or a modern cafe with retro decor? It was actually a bit of all of them.

Let me explain. The ground floor is partly a Costa Coffee shop with its ‘modern’ interior, but the original walls and windows are still used. A 1940s building, they have decorated the walls with photographs taken during West Malling’s operational time. I have to admit it is rather tasteful for a coffee bar, and they have maintained the feel quite well.

The outside provides a quiet seated area.

Next door, is a property development company,  who occupy both the ground and upper floors. The ground floor entrance is a small reception in which hangs a number of large photographs, again taken from West Malling’s operational time. There are no captions to the photographs but as a visitor, you can freely browse them, or at least I did and the lady behind the reception desk didn’t seem to mind.

There still remains a fair amount of scaffolding around the top of the tower, but the overall building refurbishment seems to be complete. Even the garden area to the front, adorned with children’s comments from airshows long gone, are tastefully cared for. Whilst they have made every endeavour to preserve this historic building, it is somewhat enclosed by houses and a large supermarket. There is no reference to what role the building played or even why it is here. The whole area has been rebuilt with upmarket restaurants and boutiques and all looks very pleasant. I do wonder how long it will retain this stylish appearance?

The cafe uses the original windows and walls, displaying photographs from an era long gone.

When I was there in 2013, I distinctly remember seeing a ‘blue plaque’. These are given to specific buildings to identify them as a site of special historical interest. On visiting this time, I could not find it and as a last resort stopped and asked a suited gentleman if he knew where it was. He introduced himself as the Estates Manager and said there is no blue plaque. Maybe I was mistaken. He then proceeded to tell me that the building I was sat outside of, was the original officer’s mess and that he would show me around if I so wished.

The Officer’s Mess. The board dedicating it to Guy Gibson, is to the left of the door.

I of course jumped at the chance, and he took me around to the front of the building and showed me a board naming the building as the ‘Gibson building’ in dedication to Guy Gibson.

He unlocked the doors and we went in. The walls here are adorned with photographs, squadron badges and other personal items from those who served at West Malling during its operational time. We then went through further doors into what was the billiard room. The gentleman explained that all the wooden doors, skirting and ceiling decorations are original. He also said that the fireplace was original too and that the lighting whilst not, was the same design and shape as the original lighting.

The local toilets reflect the tower’s design.

Then we walked through to what is now the council meeting room, he again explained that the doors and ceiling decorations were originals. He went on to explain that the fireplace here too was original and showed me a photograph of the room as it was before closure, it was indeed virtually identical – all apart from the modern furniture.

We then went to what is now the public reception at the back of the building, passing on the way, the dining room. This has been made much smaller with a false wall but again much of the 1940s architecture is still evident.

“These buildings are now grade 2 listed, and as such cannot be altered without permission” he explained, and he went on to describe how on some of the buildings you can still see traces of the original camouflage paint work.

A closer look reveals the original camouflage paint.

He went on to tell me the stories behind a number of the photographs on the wall. How they got them from local people and who they were of. I asked him about other remaining buildings on the site, and he explained how all other minor structures and hangers were long since gone; this building, the ‘H’ blocks, and the control tower being the only surviving buildings.

We talked about properties near to the site such as the local pub “The Startled Saint”, which was built to keep the RAF personnel ‘on base’. He also mentioned the initial officer’s quarters, now a private residence, which has on one of the ceilings, all the names of the crew members written with candle smoke. Apparently this property is open once a year for public viewing!

Before we said our goodbyes, he gave me a booklet written in 1989 to commemorate the life of West Malling airfield and the crews and personnel stationed here before its closure.

I did not get his name, but he is the Estates manager for the property, now owned by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, and I am truly grateful for the time he took to explain everything to me and for the booklet which I shall read and keep with pleasure.

I can certainly say that whilst the majority of the airfield has gone, what they have done with these last few buildings is both a surprise and real pleasure to see. They have tried to retain the original identity of the airfield through its architecture and road names. A number of small notice boards detail the events that occurred here from its inception until its final closure in the 1990s.

Whilst flying has long since ceased and all major features are gone, West Malling as an airfield has died. However, the centrepiece of this site, the fabulous memorial of the sculpted airman running for his plane, and the tastefully refurbished buildings, not only hold many secrets and tales, but give a hint of the atmosphere of this once historic and important Kent airfield.

West Malling was originally visited in 2013, in Trail 4. I shall be updating the trail shortly as a result of this latest visit.

Diary of a Luftwaffe pilot

A recent visit to an antiques shop, led to the purchase of two books, one detailing the events of the Battle of Britain, the second included short diary entries of Luftwaffe pilots. Sadly, not many Luftwaffe diaries exist today, all but a few being destroyed in case they fell into enemy hands! As a result, records are sketchy, few and far between.

Some of these Luftwaffe entries refer to the Battle of Britain.  I tried to make a comparison, maybe one entry would refer to the other – sadly they were not sufficiently detailed enough to be certain. This aside, I was intrigued to see the Germans portrayed their part in the battle and how they might compare in terms of recounts.

After the fall of France, the Germans built up strong groups of fighters, transports and bombers in readiness for the coming invasion of Great Britain. Five main groups (Luftflotte ‘air fleets’ similar to the RAF groups) operated across the German empire. Covering the eastern borders were Luftflotte 1 and 4, to the north in Norway and Denmark was the newly formed Luftflotte 5 and in Belgium and France , Luftflotte 2 and 3 respectively.Total servicable aircraft facing Britain amounted to 3,157.

Jagdgeschwader 3 (fighter ‘wing’ made up of 3 Gruppen*1 and 1 Stab) normally stationed on the eastern front, had been brought in to bolster numbers in Luftflotte 2 and were now based at Samer not far from Boulogne. Commanded by Hauptmann Hans von Hahn*2 (himself a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight’s Cross), Luftflotte 2 were able to field 23 Messerschmitt Bf 109Es at the start of September.

The mid part of September had been dogged by poor weather, on the 12th 13th and 14th, the Luftwaffe launched only small raids and reconnaissance missions with minimal numbers of aircraft. Many fighter pilots were given the luxury of rest periods some even taking in local sites.

One of the biggest days of the Battle of Britain, now celebrated as Battle of Britain day, was Sunday 15th September 1940. It saw a major change in Luftwaffe policies. The weather was misty but promised to improve, and the Germans saw this as an opportunity to bring a severe blow to London and the RAF; this would be the ultimate prelude to invasion.

The Unit war diary for 1 Gruppe, Jagdgeschwader 3, September 15th 1940*3, reads:

12:00.

Escort (by 12 aircraft) Do 17s against London. Oblt Keller shot down the Spitfire, Leutnant Rohwer a Hurricane. Fw Wollmer dived into the channel; the impact was seen by Lt Springer. This crash appears not to have been caused by enemy action. After a long dive Wollmer’s machine rolled a quarter turn into a vertical dive and he did not succeed in bailing out. A motorboat detached from a German convoy near Cap Gris Nez and went to the scene of the crash.

15:10.

Operation by nine aircraft to escort He 111s against London. At 1,500m there was almost total cloud cover. Over the Thames estuary and to the north of London there were gaps in the cloud. During the flight in there was contact with Spitfires. The bombers flew in loose formation to the north of London. Strong and accurate flak. The Spitfires came from above, fired, and dived away. Hauptmann von Hahn shot down the Spitfire, Lt Rohwer probably destroyed a Hurricane. During an attack by Spitfires Oberleutnant Reumschuessel became separated from his wing-man, Obfw Olejnik, and has not returned (this aircraft crashed near Charing, Kent; the pilot bailed out and was taken prisoner). After he was separated from the formation Obfw Hessel was heard on the radio, but he failed to return (this aircraft crash near Tenterdon; The pilot bailed out was taken prisoner). Obfw Buchholz’s aircraft was hit in the cooling system and forced down in the Channel. Oblt Keller made contact with the rescue aircraft nearby, which picked up Buchholz. He had injuries and was taken to the military hospital a Boulogne. The body of Lt Kloiber has been washed ashore near St. Cecile, and buried. Lt Meckel and two Feldwebeln attended the funeral. During the last few days news has been received from the Red Cross in Geneva that Oblt Tiedmann, Oblt Rau, Oblt Loidolt, Lt Landry (these last two wounded) and Obfw Lamskemper have been captured by the British”.

 An interesting read, if only there were more!

Notes:

*1 The singular is ‘Gruppe‘ and each Gruppen operated with three Gruppe. Each Gruppe would operate from one airfield but moved as a Gruppen.

*2 Hauptmann Hans von Hahn more infomration can be found at http://www.luftwaffe.cz/hahn3.html or http://falkeeins.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/hans-von-hahn-and-his-stab-ijg-3.html

*3 The Luftwaffe Data Book, Dr. Alfred Price (1977) Greenhill Publications pg196-197

What the Luftwaffe failed to do, the local council have finally managed.

Many of Britain’s airfields have hung on desperately to a small corner of history. Hawkinge is sadly one of those that has been buried deep beneath housing, schools and shops. Sadly, one of England’s most historic airfields, has finally been defeated not by Goring’s Luftwaffe, but by local planners.

Hawkinge was at the forefront of the Battle of Britain, it was repeatedly attacked by the bombers of the Luftwaffe. Because of its location, just minutes from France, crews would often have little warning and would have to take to the sky unprepared. Many returning aircraft would use its runways as a safe haven returning battle damaged and weary; Hawkinge fire crews were some of the busiest Britain was to have. It was used as a transport depot in the First World War, became a mecca for international pilots, saw some of the first ‘drones’ and was used in the filming of the 1969 film ‘The Battle of Britain’.

Today a small museum, utilises what’s left of the original buildings whilst housing creeps like poison ivy, ever further across the airfield.

The nearby cemetery is home to not only RAF pilots but also fallen Luftwaffe crews, ironically remaining in the land they tried to take all those years ago.

As part of a second aviation trail around historic Kent, Hawkinge is a must for any follower of history, aviation or the Battle Of Britain.

See the full story and Kent’s second trail here.
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Eisenhower stopped off at Lashenden

It was during this time, on July 4th 1944, that General Eisenhower stopped off at Lashenden following one of his many flights over the German lines in Normandy. His pilot, Brig. Gen. Elwood R. Quesada, veteran of 90 sorties, was berated by his superiors for such a ‘foolish’ act. In response he said, “When a five-star general says ‘Go,’ you go!”

Lashenden, also known as Headcorn, was an advanced landing ground, built initially for the RAF, it was taken over by the US Ninth Airforce who used to to fly P-51s and P-47s out over France.

Today it is a thriving airfield, whose annual reenactments bring back the nostalgia of 1940s Britain. Find out more about Lashenden’s history and other airfields in Kent. Click on this link.

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1940s Britain is reenacted on the Former Lashenden Advanced Landing Ground used by the Ninth Air Force.

 

Polish Fighter Ace Turned a V1 on its back.

The first V1 for 315 sqn was shot down by Flt Sgt Jankowski at 13:10 on July 11th. There were three more the following day and several others would meet similar fates. Shooting down a V1 was dangerous, many aircraft being caught in the subsequent blast. Other, less conventional methods would include tipping the wing of the V1 destabilising the gyroscopic guidance system within, sending it tumbling to the ground. On one occasion, WO Tadeusz Szymanski managed to completely turn a V1 onto its back using such a method.

Brenzett, was an advanced landing ground, built to be temporary, but even so, it produced some remarkable stories.

As part of a second trail around Kent, we visit three more of Britain’s airfields, Hawkinge, Brenzett and Lashenden. Each with its own story to tell. Want to know more? click here to go back to 1940s England and then see what has happened to these historic places.

Brenzett village sign

Brenzett Village Sign Depicts its Aviation History

 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: …

Originally posted on the anniversary of the publication of his poem, For the Fallen, 21st September 2014, Laurence Binyon’s poem has become synonymous with remembrance services across the country. This week is remembrance Weekend (and Veteran’s day in the United States) on which we remember the fallen: those who gave the greatest sacrifice, so we could live in peace.

I thought it appropriate to repost this during Thai special week so we know a little more about the poem and the history behind it.

‘Lest we forget’

“To all those who went before, (Robert) Laurence Binyon’s 1914 poem is widely used in remembrance services across the world. Laurence Binyon wrote his For the Fallen, with its Ode of Remembrance, while Binyon was visiting the cliffs of North Cornwall between Pentire Point and The Rumps.

Today, if you visit, there is a stone plaque at the spot to commemorate his poem, which reads: For the Fallen Composed on these cliffs 1914″. There is also a second plaque located on the beehive monument on the East Cliff above Portreath in central North Cornwall. There, you will find a plaque on a statue inscribed with the same words. Laurence Binyon’s poem, For the Fallen, was published in The Times newspaper, following heightened public sentiment due to the recent Battle of Marne (5-12 September 1914) on 21st September 1914, 100 years ago today. http://wp.me/P4xjD9-8u

For the Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

(Published in The Times newspaper, 21st September 1914).

Thanks to Marcella who contributed to the writing of the original post.”

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 For the Fallen – Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Ode to the Fallen.

As we approach Remembrance day (and Veteran’s day in America), Aviation Trails will be publishing a mix of poetry and aviation material in remembrance of those brave and courageous young men and women, who, from all nationalities, gave the ultimate sacrifice in war.

The numbers are staggering; during World War 1, there were some 37 million* deaths, (of which around 7 million were civilian). Thankfully, because the war was quite stationary, it did not create as many of the civilian casualties that were found in the Second World War. The higher number here being primarily military and serving personal. Defined as the ‘War to end all Wars’, it brought a devastating blow to societies across the European countries and their allies, as men flocked to the front and the mass slaughter that prevailed.

World War 2 on the other hand, due to the much faster, greater technological advancement that war brings, saw a much higher casuality rate. Over 60 million people died which amounted to approximately 2.5% of the world’s population*1. This is currently about the size of Nigeria, the world’s seventh largest country*2. The war was so widespread and devastating, that the actual number of casualties will never be known. A new type of war, it spread death and destruction to a much wider audience.

Subsequent wars, have also taken their toll, both in military and civilian terms. Continuing conflicts are, and will account for further deaths, and it is a sad reflection of the world we live in today.

So on this special weekend, during the 100th anniversary of the First World War, we remember those who have given so much so that the rest of us can live peacefully.

Memorials visited during the making of ‘Aviation Trails‘ can be seen here.

Ypres 007

Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium

 

Sources:

Whilst not official, Wikipedia gives some detailed accounts of countries and their casualties.

* Wikipedia, World War 1 Casualties;  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_casualties

*1 Wikipedia, World War 2 casualties; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

*2 Wikipedia, list of countries by population; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population

Plan a Trip to a WWII Aviation Heritage Site and Write a Guest Post

Where did the summer go? It was here, and now suddenly, the days are shorter, the sun less bright, and it’s autumn. Before the winter arrives, why not plan your own ‘aviation trail?’ It doesn’t even have to be a series of airfields. It could just be one. It could be a memorial, or a museum that tells the story of a part of Britain’s most impressive aviation history. It’s a lovely time for a road trip. The leaves are changing, the air is crisp and cool, and Britain’s aviation heritage is waiting… for you.

Have you ever wanted to write something of interest to you? To share with others your thoughts, impressions and words, and to actually see them in print? Here is your opportunity!

‘Aviation Trails’ is inviting you to take an autumn journey to an RAF airfield(s) or other aviation heritage site of your choice. While you are there, remember to take along a notebook to jot down some thoughts and ideas, and of course, take some photographs. If it is an airfield, as you walk about, try to imagine it as it must have been when it was bustling with activity during the days of World War II, when the roar of Merlins vibrated through the air, so often, it became the norm. If it is a memorial or a museum, take time to consider the sacrifices made by those brave men and women and how their lives and the lives of their loved ones, were forever altered by the course of World War II.

When you return home, have a go at writing your very own blog post. Do you know any stories about this airfield, memorial or museum that you have heard over the years? Is there someone in your family who served in the RAF or USAAF and was stationed at one of these airfields?  Since Andy last visited some of these airfields, have there been changes you noticed? We would love to hear some of your stories, to learn what you know, and then to be able to share that with our readers.

Once you have completed your post (and be sure to include a few photographs), submit it to: aviationtrails@yahoo.co.uk – We will have a look and consider your piece for publication as part of ‘Aviation Trails’ as a ‘Guest Post.’

This is one of the final weeks for aviation-related events as it is the autumn half-term break for most of the schools across England. Due to this, there will be some airfields offering ‘Open Days’ for museums, as well as other special events that encourage people to visit before the season comes to a close.  I will try to include some of those details below, but it is always best to check out the websites on your own beforehand to find out about opening and closing times, admission fees, etc.

For this post, I’ve decided to focus the suggestions on Lincolnshire, also known as “Bomber Country’. Many of these airfields, museums, memorials and attractions were covered by Andy in Trail 1: Lower Lincolnshire, so you can find additional information and links to museums and such on that page. To have a look, see the link here.

Some of the more well-known airfields and attractions in Lower Lincolnshire include:

  • RAF East Kirkby (Open Mon. – Sat. 9:30 am-5:00 pm through end of Oct.). Also. special event on Sat. 1st Nov. 2014: Lancaster night, taxi runs and fireworks).
  • RAF Woodhall Spa
  • RAF Coningsby (Andy provides very helpful information about the viewing area around Coningsby, so take a look at the link above for his Trail 1).
  • Thorpe-Camp Visitor Centre (Open Sundays 1:00-5:00 pm through end of Oct. and by appointment). Also, on Wed. 29th Oct. 2014 – Coningsby Spotters Get Together).
  • Dambusters Memorial
  • The Petwood Hotel (of Guy Gibson fame)

That being said, you might be in an entirely different county. Please do not feel left out! There are many areas Andy has yet  to have the opportunity to visit, and we would LOVE to hear about an RAF airfield, memorial or museum in a county not covered on one of the ‘aviation trails.’ Please feel free to visit one near you, and then write about what you know; tell us about the stories you have heard, or tell us about your family member who once bravely served at one of these airfields.

Before long, these RAF airfields will be but a distant memory. You will no longer have the opportunity to visit as you do now. Inevitably, as we have seen all over England (e.g. Manston Airport), these treasured places of Britain’s aviation past will be developments with rows of  houses and not a remnant of their once glorious past or the brave men and women who served to protect their beloved England.

So, do not miss your chance to visit an RAF airfield, a memorial or a museum, and give yourself a chance to be the writer you always wanted to be.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to email us.

Marcella M. Beaudreau (@LadyofShalottMA)

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Autumn leaves at Downham Market