Posts Tagged ‘RAF Bircham Newton Heritage Centre’

Royal Air Force Bircham Newton Veterans’ Day 2018

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

RAF Bircham Newton

We would like to draw your attention to a special event to be held at Bircham Newton in May 2018. In addition to being the centenary of the birth of the Royal Air Force, 2018 will also be the 100th anniversary of the birth of the former RAF station at Bircham Newton. The first unit to fly from its airfield, No. 3 Fighting School, arrived in May 1918, just one month after the birth of the Royal Air Force. The Fighting School was soon joined by a second unit flying giant Handley Page bombers, designed to bomb Germany from this Norfolk airfield. Flying continued beyond the Armistice and throughout the inter-war years, increasing dramatically during the second World War. The station was finally closed in the early 1960s, during the height of the Cold War, but flying briefly returned in the mid-1960s, when trials of the Kestrel jump jet were conducted on the airfield.

To mark the centenary of the birth of RAF Bircham Newton as a flying station, it is planned to hold a Veterans’ Day event at Bircham Newton on the afternoon of Saturday, 19th of May 2018. The event will be open to all former servicemen, who served or were trained at Bircham Newton, and their close families. The largest group of visitors is expected to be former RAF administrative apprentices, who trained at Bircham Newton in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but many other veterans are also expected to attend, such as former national servicemen, former members of the Women’s Royal Air Force and officers who were trained at the Officers’ Advanced Training School (OATS) or its successor the Junior Command and Staff School (JCSS).

There will be many attractions for the veterans and their families to enjoy: the RAF Heritage Centre will be open for guided tours; an illustrated talk will be given on the role of Bircham Newton during the Great War; local history groups and service associations have been invited along to exhibit their material; military vehicles and large-scale model aircraft should be on display; local ATC squadrons and the Royal British Legion have also been invited to participate in a brief end-of-day ceremony, when the RAF ensign will be lowered to the sound of the Last Post. Tea, coffee and other refreshments will be available throughout the afternoon. It is also hoped to organise a short flypast, if possible.

Entrance will be free and free car parking will be provided. Disabled access and toilets will also be available, and help will be given to those with mobility problems. Further details regarding location etc can be found on our website:- http://www.rafbnmp.org.uk Our postcode is PE31 6RB.