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withcall

Lost WW1 airfield

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withcall

Can anyone give me an accurate location for this one-time WW1 airfield? I believe it was somewhere in the area of the map I've attached. It had no connection with the WW11 airfield at Sutton Bridge, which was on the other side of the Nene. A farmer friend once dug up some solid metal practice bombs nearby, which were definitely of WW1 vintage.

post-9859-1160417306.jpg

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withcall

The site gives the Ordnance Survey grid reference as TF 344185

Cheers - the gridref is very odd, though. That puts it nowhere near Tydd, but just outside Holbeach St Johns, about seven miles away. The WW11 gridref is spot on, though - right by the modern power station.

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withcall

The attached map shows where the airfield was, according to the gridfef on that website (under the name of 'Holbeach St Johns') I've joined their forum and will request clarification once the account has been activated.

post-9859-1160421212.jpg

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mickdavis

The site plan in the autumn 1918 Quarterly Survey of Stations suggests TF460195. If I remember correctly, part of the hangar existed until recently, being used as a farm storage shed.

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withcall

That sounds more like it. That puts the site just above the 'S' of 'Tydd St Mary's Marsh'. I'm going out there for a look. Thanks for your help.

post-9859-1160422531.jpg

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Frank_East

Tydd St Marys was the official name of the Emergency Landing Ground (OS Sheet 131. 460192 ) which was situated one mile East of the village of the same name.Its postion was on the left bank of the Nene opposite the later RAF Sutton Bridge which is now occupied by the EDF CCGT Power Station.

Operational background.

Opened in August 1916 as ELG for No 51 Squadron operating BE 2C, BE 12, FE 2B and BE 2E aircraft operating out of Thetford, Narborough and Marham until August 1917.

No 51 Squadron B Flight were then detached to Tydd St Marys from Marham in August 1917 operating Martinsyde G100, BE 12B and Camel as additional squadron aircraft until May 1919 when the station closed and the whole squadron was posted to Suttons Farm (Hornchurch) and disbanded a month later.

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mickdavis

NA AIR 1/16/15/1/77 Home Defence Squadrons, their HQ, Locations and Landing Grounds as at 18 October 1916. Tydd St Mary doesn't appear.

NA AIR 1/823/284/5/44 Renaming of RFC Home Defence Stations as at 31 December 1916. Tydd St Mary listed as NLG for 51 HDS.

NA AIR 1/16/15/1/77 Home Defence Squadrons, their HQ, Locations and Landing Grounds as at 5 January 1917. Tydd St Mary listed as NLG 1st for 51 HDS

NA AIR 1/16/15/17 Changes to HD Stations and Landing Grounds. 51 HDS Flight Stations at Harling Road, Elmswell and Hadleigh transferred to 75 HDS 14 September 1917 (51 HDS A Flt moved to Tydd St Mary on 1 September).

NA AIR 1/93/15/9/239 List of Stations (RFC & RNAS) as at January 1918. Tydd St Mary listed as base for 51 Sqn A Flt in Eastern Command (Home Defence had been dropped from the title in November 1917). Location given as 13 miles east of Spalding and 1/4 mile north of the A in Mary (placing it using the 1/4 inch flying maps). Equipment was predominately RAF FE2bs. The flights at Marham

Didn't note which file. April 1918 A Flt had exchanged titles with B Flt at Marham (in February ?). Now in 1 Area, VI Brigade and 47th Wing.

NA AIR 1/453/15/312/26 Pt IV Survey of Stations Autumn 1918. 51 Sqn B Flt at Tydd St Mary in Midland Area, HD Group and 47 Wing. 125 acres, 700 x 650 yards, 25 feet amsl. Two HD pattern flight sheds, 130 x 60 feet, as a coupled unit.

October 1918. Sopwith Snipes beginning to be received.

November final RAF FE2bs given up.

14 May 1919. 51 Sqn B Flt to Sutton's Farm, with rest of unit.

AM WRO 6 November 1919 Relinquishment of Tydd St Mary notified

AM WRO 22 January 1920. Relinquishment confirmed.

A SUMMARY FOR 51 SQN

51 SQUADRON RFC/RAF

Bases

Formed at Mousehold Heath 15.5.1916 with nucleus from 9 RS HD detachment. To Thetford 1.6.1916. Mousehold Heath and Narborough were intended as Flight Stations but were not taken up. HQ to Hingham 23.9.1916 with flights detached to Harling Road (A Flt), Mattishall (B Flt) and Marham (C Flt). B Flt to Marham and C Flt to Mattishall 7.7.1917. HQ to Marham 7.8.1917. A Flt to Tydd St Mary 1.9.1917. Flights titled 2.1918 with A Flt to Mattishall, B Flt to Tydd St Mary and C Flt to Marham. Intended establishment at 6.1918 set at 24 Bristol F2B. Intended establishment at Autumn 1918 set at 18 Avro 504K (NF). To Sutton’s Farm 14.5.1919 and disbanded 13.6.1919.

Commanding Officers

Major H Wyllie from 18.7.1916 to 11.9.1917. Major FC Baker from 11.9.1917 until 18.3.1918. Major H Wyllie from 23.3.1918 until 16.6.1918. Captain HLH Owen from 21.8.1918 until 13.6.1919.

Landing Grounds († existing aerodrome; ‡ later upgraded to aerodrome/Flight Station)

Ashfield/Elmswell‡, Bedfield, Bungay, Bury-St-Edmunds, Coldham, Cotton, Earsham, Freethorpe, Frettenham, Gooderstone/Warren, Hadleigh‡, Marsham, Martlesham Heath†, Methwold, Mousehold Heath†, Narborough, Newmarket, North Elmham, Saxthorpe, Scoulton, Sedgeford†, Sible Heddingham, Sporle, Taverham, Thetford†, Tibenham, Tottenhill, Tydd St Mary‡, West Rudham.

Squadron Searchlights

Boyland Common, Crownthorpe, East Harling, Little Fridds Farm, Marham aerodrome, Mattishall aerodrome, Necton, North Wooton, Scoulton, Setchley, Yaxham.

Representative Aeroplanes (* armed with Vickers 1-lb pom-pom)

Airco DH10 - C8658.

Avro 504A/J - A9785, B3182.

Martinsyde G.102 - A4002.

RAF BE2c - 2473, 2474, 2489, 2717, 2734, 4099, 4575.

RAF BE2d - 6256.

RAF BE2e - A1882, A1892.

RAF BE12 - 6161, 6478, 6489, 6496.

RAF FE2b - 4870, 4871, 4876, 4885, 4980, 4985, 6970, 7004, 7005, 7008, 7021, 7676, 7679* 7679*, 7680, 7682, 7689, 7713, A787, A838, A885, A5466, A5519, A5520, A5524, A5525, A5532, A5533, A5543, A5545, A5548, A5549, A5551, A5610, A5619, A5635, A5679, A5723, A5724, A5729, A5730, A5731, A5732, A5733, A5735, A5753, A5754, A5763, A5764, A5778, B417.

RAF FE2d - A6438, A6453, A6465, A6531.

Sopwith Snipe - E7426, E7427, E7532, E7569, E7574, E7575, E7578, E7580, E7582.

Vickers FB.14 - A678, A686.

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