Sunday 3rd September, 2000, the anniversary of the declaration of war and the 60th anniversary of the heaviest raid on North Weald Airfield, saw the dedication of a unique Memorial at North Weald.
In June 1952, HRH the Crown Princess of Norway, Princess Astrid, unveiled a granite obelisk beside the main gate of North Weald airfield on behalf of the two Norwegian squadrons which were based there during the Second World War, dedicated ‘in gratitude to the Royal Air Force, to the RAF Station North Weald, and to the people of the district’.
However, there never has been a memorial specifically commemorating the service of the hundreds of aircrew and thousands of airmen and women of at least seven nations, soldiers and civilians, who served at North Weald between 1916 and when the RAF left the base in 1964.
Over the years, several proposals have been put forward to rectify the omission but not until February 2000 was the new Airfield Memorial conceived. It has been specially designed to complement — and enhance — the existing Norwegian memorial, while providing a place of peace, remembrance and contemplation.
The concept is that of Winston Ramsey, Editor-in-Chief of After the Battle magazine and North Weald Airfield Museum Chairman, Arthur Moreton. Both have been sympathetically concerned with the history of the airfield for many years, and live in the locality.
The twin flagpoles will enable both the Union flag and that of Canada, Czechoslovakia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland or the United States to be flown on special occasions to honour the nationalities of those who served at North Weald.
The village emblem, which features an RAF Hurricane flying over the airfield, is incorporated, and fixings are provided on the Portland stone walls for hanging wreaths. The memorial can be floodlit at night.
Click here to find out about the Debt of Honour incorporated in the Memorial.
© The above photograph and text were provided by After the Battle