Placing memorials to commemorate Britain’s airfields

Across the UK there are memorials to celebrate the history of important sites so they can be remembered by future generations even if the use of the site changes. These pieces take many different shapes and sizes, but all are vital to preserve the cultural heritage of the areas.

On 26th and 27th August new memorials were placed at two disused airfields in Pembrokeshire. The Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust (ABCT) was behind the project, seeing that both sites were commemorated properly. They are the first national airfield charity in the world and have successfully overseen the placement of 58 memorials in total in the UK.

The first memorial was laid at Brawdy Airfield, a former RAF and Navy base that began life in February 1944. The site is special as a result of the three runways facing different directions. This means that aircraft can land and take off in all kinds of prevailing winds. The airfield has enjoyed a rich history and is still remarkably preserved since it stopped being used for aircraft in 1996.

The second memorial was placed at Templeton. This three runway airfield has a very unusual history. It was opened in November 1942 as an RAF base but closed in October 1945 after being switched over to the Admiralty. Surprisingly though the site saw additional usage from the 50s onwards and the runways are still in relatively good condition. This means that the airfield has seen more use outside of wartime than it did during World War II.

The placement of memorials at each site ensures they will be remembered for their interesting histories. Ceremonies were held to unveil each memorial. Both enjoyed good attendances and showed the community support for the ABCT project.

At UK Memorial Services we love seeing culturally significant sites like this being marked. It shows another important application for memorials. Alongside this it reminds us that every piece, regardless of its purpose, should be unique and special so it acts as a fitting tribute. We keep this in mind for every product we create ourselves.

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