RAF Binbrook Airfield in Lincolnshire, UK was home to 460 Squadron.
Visit to Binbrook – July 25th 2009 – Photos and story by Nick Stevens (Son of Jean Meadows - crewman Jowett's cousin)
Having come across www.ee138.net and information regarding my mother’s cousin Herbert Jowett whilst teaching school students how to search the CWGC website (and how to use Google etc to follow this up) I was intrigued when I realised that 460 Squadron had been based at Binbrook where I had taken part in special stage rallies (a form of motorsport) in the 1990s.
With this in mind, and a holiday in Norfolk arranged, I decided to call in at Binbrook for a “look see” on the way from Leeds.
The site of the Ident square at Binbrook Airfield is not open access but Winchester Marine, who store equipment in the area, provided unhindered access when I rang their number. Not only that but we were allowed to wander at our leisure, unaccompanied, with no pressure regarding time etc. so thanks to them for that.
The Ident Square pays homage not only to 460 squadron but to all the other squadrons that were also based at Binbrook and is well maintained. Also on site were specific memorials to 460 squadron ground crews and aircrew with mention of the diverse nationalities of those involved.
The memorials were stainless steel plaques and commemorative Australian Gumtrees (of which I am enclosing photos). I had not come across reference to these before on any other web sites – as the trees are still saplings perhaps they are a recent addition.
Jack Roddy, the gentleman who helped start this memorial, unfortunately passed away in February 2008. He is commemorated, himself, with a bench and was described by staff at Winchester Marine as a true gentleman. It was obvious that, despite his passing, someone is maintaining this memorial in a fitting manner with grass mown and weeds pulled but I was unable to ascertain who.
Winchester Marine operates out of an old hangar which has numerous squadron and nations regalia on its outer walls on all sides. Of interest might be the fact that this hangar, and Binbrook airfield, was also used in the making of the film Memphis Belle in 1990 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100133/locations).
As we drove away I couldn’t help but think back. Perhaps during one of the rallies I competed in I’d driven at speeds of over 100 mph down the same runway EE138 left from on that night.
Next we went on to Binbrook village and the memorial there looked splendid in the morning sunlight with flowers and a wreath evident. In the modern world it was pleasing to note a lack of litter, vandalism etc. and that the local children were respectful when I was taking my photos.
Unfortunately I was unable to gain access to St. Mary’s Church to see the roll of honour as it was locked and there was no obvious contact information.
As we continued our journey we saw a number of similar memorials in other villages and adjacent to access roads to other airfields – thankfully people still remember.
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