New memorial unveiled at former Woodhall Spa airfield

The memorial was unveiled by director general of the airfields of Britain Conservation Trust Kenneth Bannerman and President of the 617 Squadron Association, Wing Commander John Bell. Picture: David Dawson. EMN-180514-112652001
The memorial was unveiled by director general of the airfields of Britain Conservation Trust Kenneth Bannerman and President of the 617 Squadron Association, Wing Commander John Bell. Picture: David Dawson. EMN-180514-112652001

Crowds gathered in Woodhall Spa on Sunday (May 13), as a memorial to the 617 and 619 Squadrons was unveiled.

The 617 Squadron Association held their 75th anniversary service at Royal Square on Sunday.

The service was followed by the dedication and unveiling of a new memorial to the 617 and 619 Squadrons.

Officiating on Sunday was The Venerable (Air-Vice-Marshall) Robin Turner.

The unveiling took place at the former Woodhall Spa airfield, with John Bell, president of the 617 Squadron Association, performing the honours.

Kenneth Bannerman, Director General of The Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust (ABCT) joined Mr Bell for the unveiling of the memorial.

The memorial is part of a national programme managed by ABCT - a charity which acknowledges the unique contributions airfields have made since 1909.

The former airfield in Woodhall Spa is now a nature reserve run by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, said: “ABCT seeks to erect memorials at all disused airfields across the UK in order to provide a permanent reminder for future generations. This is all the more significant when the use of the land is changed.

“We are fortunate that, with the support of other local organisations, the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust has now transformed the site into a nature reserve whilst recognising the heritage of the land as an airfield and later as a sand and gravel quarry.”

• The ABCT memorial is dedicated to all those who were based at the airfield and commemorates the losses from those wartime squadrons.