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Author Topic: RAF West Malling  (Read 28649 times)
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cliveh
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« Reply #210 on: March 01, 2016, 07:25:15 AM »

Welcome Dave

Well you've made me feel slightly embarrassed!  Embarrassed I live in Easterfields just a few hundred yards from the cottages you mention and I've certainly never noticed any markings on them so I will have to take a look. One thing I would say is that the cottages pre-date the airfield and appear on O.S maps as early as 1909. On that map there is an O.S. bench mark shown at the cottages but this is a survey mark rather than a WO boundary marker. Likewise there is a OS bench mark shown in the area of the High Street that you mention. The bench marks do take the form of arrows as do the WO boundary markers and are often confused with one another.

As far as the airfield's boundaries are concerned; with the additional land requisitioned in WW2 they extended almost to The Heath at East Malling and almost to the far end of Teston Road near the North Pole.

Hope this helps

cliveh

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Pete
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« Reply #211 on: March 01, 2016, 09:15:35 AM »

It still shows on current OS maps as a bench mark the sign of which is a broad arrow with a horizontal line over it, there are 2 shown on OS maps in Easterfield Rd 43m and 56m above sea level.
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davec06
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« Reply #212 on: March 03, 2016, 08:29:25 AM »

Morning Guys, Thanks for your replys so far, here is the marker in East Malling, any ideas?

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Pete
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« Reply #213 on: March 03, 2016, 13:26:56 PM »

A Pipeline marker?
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cliveh
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« Reply #214 on: March 03, 2016, 20:59:02 PM »

I think it might be an old Mid-Kent Water pipeline marker stone
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davec06
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« Reply #215 on: March 04, 2016, 20:04:55 PM »

Hi Clive, still not sure about the marker stone, but moving on- Any idea what function the old Grange house served in relation to WM Airfield, reason for asking is that there is a large underground air raid shelter in the back gardens, of the High Street cottages, that backed onto the current grange development, was this for military personnel use?

   
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cliveh
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« Reply #216 on: March 07, 2016, 10:26:17 AM »

Sorry Dave but as far as I'm aware the Grange had no official connection with the airfield although it could have provided some billeted accommodation for some of the officers. However the main wartime accommodation for them was at the Manor House (now Douce's Manor) at West Malling.

Interesting to hear about the shelter. Is it still accessible?

cliveh
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Pete
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« Reply #217 on: March 07, 2016, 11:19:18 AM »

See posts 6 & 8  Old pictures of East Malling
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cliveh
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« Reply #218 on: March 07, 2016, 11:40:06 AM »

Thanks Pete - I forgot about that post. It seems it was used as an 'overflow' mess accommodation then.

cliveh
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davec06
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« Reply #219 on: March 23, 2016, 10:30:37 AM »

Hi Clive, Can you confirm which was Guy Gibson's house in East Malling, is it the Clare cottage on the West Malling Road? How long did he reside there, with these dodgy blue plaques appearing in West Malling, surely this house deserves one?
 
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cliveh
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« Reply #220 on: March 26, 2016, 14:41:13 PM »

Yes he lived in Clare Cottage with his wife Eve. I believe they lived there from April till December 1941.

cliveh
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davec06
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« Reply #221 on: April 10, 2016, 12:39:40 PM »

Hi Clive, I see in the village newsletter, that they now want to introduce the West Malling blue plaque to East Malling, Gibson's house has to be a prime candidate for a plaque.

I read elsewhere that Gibson, got his dog Nigger, from a friend in East Farleigh, whilst  he was based at West Malling, apparently the dog was not popular with the other aircrew.

◦Nigger was unpopular on the station (being prone to urinating on aircrew's legs after drinking too much beer), and a rumour from the time says that he was not buried where he appeared to be, but his body was dumped in the woods, a rumour supported by the lack of bones found when the grave had to be moved post-war; it has also been suggested that the accident which killed him may not have been wholly accidental

Nigger: This was the name of Gibson's black Labrador dog, killed in a hit-and-run accident on the day of the mission (in the film). In fact, the fatal accident took place the day before, and the car did stop (it was driven by an RAF officer). "Nigger" was also the codeword to indicate the breaching of the Möhne Dam; although today deemed politically incorrect (despite the fact that it simply stems from the Latin word for black), it is still used in the recent UK DVD release of the film (some US releases of the film had all references to this word cut or overdubbed with "Trigger", although the Morse code transmission heard still said "Nigger", and it does appear in the US DVD release of the film). The UK Channel 4 screening in July 2007 also cut all uses of the word, although the digitally remastered version being shown in cinemas at the same time remained uncut. Sharp-eyed viewers may spot the "ghost of Nigger" running through the trees at the end of the film (where Gibson is talking to Wallis at Scampton) - no dog was known to be on the base when the film was made, so the identity of the animal seen on film remains a mystery
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John
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« Reply #222 on: May 14, 2016, 16:41:17 PM »

© IWM (RAF-T 30)
Object description: The De Havilland Goblin engine of a De Havilland Vampire NF.10 night-fighter (WP252) of No 25 Squadron characteristically "torching" on starting up for a sortie from its base at RAF West Malling, Kent.

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The Navigator
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« Reply #223 on: March 31, 2017, 11:19:17 AM »

Here goes then - some 25 Sqn Vampire shots


On this spot, the owner of Churchill Square is currently building a new administrative building, to serve the 120 offices sited in the former H Blocks.
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