RAF Regiment Heritage Centre

RAF Regiment Heritage Centre The Heritage Centre is the main exhibition area to display and preserve the story of the Regiment’s h
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22/09/2023

The website booking for a tour system doesn't like us for some reason, For Booking Visits to the Heritage Centre: please email [email protected] Please give a fortnight's notice so we will be able to accommodate you, guided tours are available from 10am

Only 75 limited edition prints from the original oil painting by Stuart Brown published in aid of the Royal Air Force Ce...
14/09/2023

Only 75 limited edition prints from the original oil painting by Stuart Brown published in aid of the Royal Air Force Centurion Fund.
Each print is individually signed and numbered by the artist.
The painting shows The Queen in the white drawing room at Windsor Castle, Her Majesty is wearing a brooch presented to her by the Royal Air Force Regiment, which shows the Astral Crown and crossed Lee Enfield rifle.
Available from the website Price £20

Air Vice-Marshal Mick Smeath our Commandant General took time to visit some of our fabulous volunteers at the RAF Regime...
10/12/2022

Air Vice-Marshal Mick Smeath our Commandant General took time to visit some of our fabulous volunteers at the RAF Regiment Heritage Centre today. Great to have our most senior supporter in for a brew.

This week the heritage centre received an amazing donation by Andrew Noakes. A replica Boys 0.55 anti-tank rifle, which ...
26/04/2022

This week the heritage centre received an amazing donation by Andrew Noakes.
A replica Boys 0.55 anti-tank rifle, which now has pride of place in our GMC Otter.
Andrew commissioned the rifle some time ago and we all have been eagerly awaiting its arrival.

Thank you Andrew from all at the Heritage Centre.

Pictured; Andrew and son presenting the Boys to Roy Ives. And inplace in the Otter.

………THE START OF THE BEGINNING………OF THE FORMATION OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE REGIMENTThe Battle of Crete 20 May – 1 June 1941...
01/02/2022

………THE START OF THE BEGINNING………
OF THE FORMATION OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE REGIMENT

The Battle of Crete 20 May – 1 June 1941

The event

It is still not clear as to whether the diversion of German troops to Crete ultimately doomed the invasion of Russia.

It postponed the invasion long enough to expose unprepared German troops to the worst Russian winter in years.

Fallschirmjager (Paratrooper)

They had been used in smaller operations in the sweeps through Norway and Western Europe. They were also used in Greece to take the bridge across the Corinth Canal. While the achieved their objective, the retreating allies were able to damage the bridge enough to slow the advance into the Peloponnese; which bought enough time to evacuate over 40,000 allied troops.

Fortification

Crete was the last allied Fortification in Europe. Hi**er wanted the island, against the advice of his generals, as Crete was within bomber range of key Axis targets.

The Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, against the advice of his commanders, wanted to make a stand in Crete rather than evacuate all forces to North Africa.

Strategies

The Germans had controlled of the air, as the British had withdrawn the eight fighters.

The Royal Navy controlled the sea, so a seaborne invasion was too risky. So, the Germans had to go for the unconventional option of an airborne invasion of the island.

The German air force (Luftwaffe) had just conceded defeat in the Battle of Britain and it needed a successful campaign elsewhere to save face. Crete offered that opportunity.

German strength

Luftwaffe used 280 long range bombers,

150 dive bombers,

180 fighters and fighter bombers,

40 reconnaissance aircraft.

530 transport aircraft to carry the paratroopers and tow 100 gliders.

22,000 highly trained paratroopers to the invasion.

Strong Intelligence

German military intelligence organisation thought there were would be only 5,000 British troops on the island and no Greek forces.

The reality was very different:

There were 10,200 Greeks, & NBSP;

15,000 Britons,

7,750 New Zealanders,

6,500 Australians

Aftermath

Although the operation had been a success it really was a shallow victory as they suffered high casualties. Hi**er was never again to use airborne forces on such a scale.

To guard against British airfields falling to German-paratroopers as Maleme in Crete had, Winston Churchill demanded that RAF Airmen should be trained and equipped to defend themselves against ground attack. In a condemning memo to the Secretary of State for Air and to the Chief of the Air Staff;

“Churchill stated he would no longer tolerate the shortcomings of the Royal Air Force, in which half a million RAF personnel had no combat role. He ordered that all airmen be armed and ready to “fight and die in defence of their airfields” and that “every airfield should be a stronghold of fighting air-ground men, and not the abode of uniformed civilians in the prime of life protected by detachments of soldiers”.

The Grand Alliance; The Second World War, Vol 3 p693 Rosetta books. Dated 29 June 1941
A Ministry of Defence Committee was established to find a solution to the problem of Air Defence. Amongst the measures implemented were improvised Armoured Cars and Pillboxes facing inwards towards the runways.

However, rather than training all Airmen as infantry on the German model. It recommended the creation of a ‘Royal Air Force Aerodrome Defence Corps’ giving RAF Commanders control over the defence of their own assets;

The RAF Regiment was formed.

The new Corps was established by Royal Warrant dated the 1st February 1942 and given the title Royal Air Force Regiment’ and the motto “Per Ardua” translated “Through Adversity.

It was given a distinguishing badge of crossed No 4 Lee Enfield rifles encircled by an Astral Crown.

HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY

https://www.rafregimentheritagecentre.co.uk/the-start-of-the-beginning/
01/02/2022

https://www.rafregimentheritagecentre.co.uk/the-start-of-the-beginning/

80th Anniversary ………THE START OF THE BEGINNING……… Posted on February 1, 2022 by bryan OF THE FORMATION OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE REGIMENT The Battle of Crete 20 May – 1 June 1941  The event  It is still not clear as to whether the diversion of German troops to Crete ultimately doomed ...

9 years ago to the day, we started on the Heritage Collection Project.  I am pleased to report we have made some progres...
29/01/2022

9 years ago to the day, we started on the Heritage Collection Project. I am pleased to report we have made some progress. We have 19 large vehicle exhibits, a collection of Anti Air weapons including all of our Guns and missile types and their radars in 11 galleries and a separate location (HAS). Small arms recovered from our various conflicts overseas are displayed in all the relevant galleries. Our Archive is under the same roof and in the same building as the big toys. We have a huge clothing store that holds uniforms and accoutrements (webbing) from the original 1920 model to today. The Archive has been undergoing digitising collating and categorising for the last 19 months and many of our former paper records are now being digitised and stored in searchable form that is line with civilian archive mechanisms.
We have a Regiment Shop and an on line merchandising outlet and web site, which designs, commissions and sells RAF Regiment memorabilia and clothing, all of who's proceeds enable the Centre to have a sustainable future. https://www.rafregimentheritagecentre.co.uk/
We have a 3D printer which allows up to design our own moulds like the current Foxhound model and Rolls Royce. We have our own design and graphics function and a hot line to the Corps Historian and his voluminous research and writing
There have been hero's at all stages of the process from the Senior officers who gave a bunch of kleptomaniacal ex Rocks the license to "Do something with the Museum" to the guys who cane in and wielded paintbrushes, hammers, brooms, or simply unpacked / packed stuff. we will do more in the next years and I think this is an opportunity for us all to think on not about what we have done, could have done, will do, but for the ingrained and justified pride we all feel about our service to the Nation and our Service. Its our 80th birthday next week and the 100th of the formation of the Armoured Car Companies. The Royal Air Force is the oldest independent Air Arm in the world and we are the oldest Air FP unit in the world - the Gold Standard. the story goes on , but one thing is sure, it wont be me writing the next verse to this in 9 more years time.

The Heritage Centre receives no government funding and is run entirely by volunteers. All funding comes from generous donations by members of the public and the on site shop. Proceeds go directly to your Heritage Centre for improvements and upkeep of the historic artifacts.

28/05/2021
It’s starting to move again hopefully open in the next couple of weeks to visitors all the new galleries - spoilers
27/05/2021

It’s starting to move again hopefully open in the next couple of weeks to visitors all the new galleries - spoilers

Today the 1st February 2021 is the 79th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force Regiment one of the most div...
01/02/2021

Today the 1st February 2021 is the 79th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force Regiment one of the most diverse Regiments in British Military history. No job to small or too big on active service somewhere in the world since 1942.

Happy Anniversary to all Rocks past and present

https://www.rafregimentheritagecentre.co.uk/
12/10/2020

https://www.rafregimentheritagecentre.co.uk/

The Heritage Centre receives no government funding and is run entirely by volunteers. All funding comes from generous donations by members of the public and the on site shop. Proceeds go directly to your Heritage Centre for improvements and upkeep of the historic artefacts.

Unfortunately due to the latest guidelines regarding COVID-19, the RAF Regiment Heritage Centre Tours will not be availa...
06/10/2020

Unfortunately due to the latest guidelines regarding COVID-19, the RAF Regiment Heritage Centre Tours will not be available until the New Year. Any changes to this expected return date will be updated upon this page

The Heritage Centre receives no government funding and is run entirely by volunteers. All funding comes from generous donations by members of the public and the on site shop. Proceeds go directly to your Heritage Centre for improvements and upkeep of the historic artefacts. We kindly ask for any don...

15/08/2020
A new addition to Depot Corner in the centre, a wall to commemorate the RAF Regiments first depot, Belton Park, Grantham...
21/07/2020

A new addition to Depot Corner in the centre, a wall to commemorate the RAF Regiments first depot, Belton Park, Grantham 1942.

10/06/2020

Sitrep 10 June 2020
The RAF Regiment Heritage Centre has, like the rest of the country, been in lock down since the 16th of March 2020. Work has gone on in trying to keep our profile up online and we are getting more and more serious requests for advice or research on the Corps history. The online shop has ploughed on primarily due to the efforts of Roy and Spyder and we are now looking to reopen the shop (and eventually the whole Centre) to actual customers. There will be the same sort of guidelines as the Government are laying down across the board and we will be making some modifications to access to enable this.

1. Entrance/exit to the HC will only be allowed through the main entrance door on the far side of the Signal School. All other entrances will be closed to customers
2. Only 1 person at a time will be allowed into the shop.
3. A holding area for waiting customers will be clearly marked (with seats) and will be monitored.
4. On base or physical visitors will have precedence between 10:00 and 14:00 every Tuesday and Wednesday until further notice. If there is a requirement, we will negotiate a specific time slot for groups and the Shop Manager Roy Ives.
5. The use of cards is encouraged but the shop will accept cash when this is not possible for a customer.
6. The online shop will remain in operation 24 / 7, access through the Web site https://www.rafregimentheritage.shop
7. Staff will ask anyone with possible symptoms of CORVID19 to leave, as well as persistent non-compliance of the safety distances.

We are waiting for the Arts Council to give detailed guidance for the reopening of the Museum sector so we can then get people back into the HC and view the rich heritage of the world leader in the protection of all things aviation.

We will be ensuring we keep everybody up to date as the situation becomes clearer, but rest assured that we are all working away to get back to being able to tell our story

Per Ardua

The contribution that the Corps made is often lost in the immensity of the operation, but two Wing Headquarters, 1304 an...
06/06/2020

The contribution that the Corps made is often lost in the immensity of the operation, but two Wing Headquarters, 1304 and 1305, went ashore around midnight on the 6th June 1944, mostly through Juno Beach but with some elements supporting the Ground Control Interception (GCI) of 20 Base Defence Group on Omaha beach.

Per Ardua.

The contribution that the Corps made is often lost in the immensity of Operation Overlord, but two Wings went ashore around midnight on the 6th June 1944.

D Day will always send a message of good over evil     wewillremember   https://twozeroalpha.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/im...
05/06/2020

D Day will always send a message of good over evil wewillremember
https://twozeroalpha.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/imagine/

Imagine being cooped up in a small metal box with an open-top, carrying the weight of another small human on your back, being thrown around against others, who are themselves burdened like pack ani…

24/05/2020

It’s strange to think that none of the accepted tomes of military recollections hardly ever includes the detail of training to fire one’s personal weapon. The relationship between the R…

A humorous look back on live firinghttps://twozeroalpha.wordpress.com/2020/05/24/ranges-part-1/
24/05/2020

A humorous look back on live firing
https://twozeroalpha.wordpress.com/2020/05/24/ranges-part-1/

It’s strange to think that none of the accepted tomes of military recollections hardly ever includes the detail of training to fire one’s personal weapon. The relationship between the R…

The Task Forces Once the Western-allied forces had crossed the Rhine at Xanten and Remegan, the end of the war was liter...
17/05/2020

The Task Forces Once the Western-allied forces had crossed the Rhine at Xanten and Remegan, the end of the war was literally days away. April saw the British 21st Army group punching through the Ruhr and the Northern German plain, with Hamburg and the Elbe as the targets. The Russians were in the suburbs of Berlin and forward units had bypassed the capital and were approaching Lübeck on the Baltic. [ 1,174 more word ]
https://twozeroalpha.wordpress.com/2020/05/17/end-game-germany-2/

The Task Forces Once the Western-allied forces had crossed the Rhine at Xanten and Remegan, the end of the war was literally days away. April saw the British 21st Army group punching through the R…

End game Germany Mar-May 1945 It is astonishing that the end of the war came so suddenly and quickly in 1945.  On March ...
07/05/2020

End game Germany Mar-May 1945 It is astonishing that the end of the war came so suddenly and quickly in 1945. On March 23 1945, 37 days before Adolf Hi**er committed su***de, the Western allies were still in their Winter Quarters on the west bank of the Rhine. The winter had been a savage one even with the Ardennes Offensive and the subsequent air attack of Operation Bodenplatte on January 1. [ 1,022 more word ]
https://twozeroalpha.wordpress.com/2020/05/07/end-game-germany-1/

End game Germany Mar-May 1945 It is astonishing that the end of the war came so suddenly and quickly in 1945. On March 23 1945, 37 days before Adolf Hi**er committed su***de, the Western allies w…

The Curious case of Dr Tank and the Focke-Wulf takeover 1945 In March 1945 RAF Regiment units were pressing hard on the ...
11/04/2020

The Curious case of Dr Tank and the Focke-Wulf takeover 1945 In March 1945 RAF Regiment units were pressing hard on the heels of the retreating German Forces. In the main, their task was the securing of Luftwaffe bases, equipment and personnel before they could be destroyed and the possibilities for re-engineering or the gleaning of knowledge, be lost. These units were often in front of their front-line army comrades, in what was a rapidly disintegrating German defence. [ 1,160 more word ]
https://twozeroalpha.wordpress.com/2020/04/11/tales-from-the-gun-shed/

The Curious case of Dr Tank and the Focke-Wulf takeover 1945 In March 1945 RAF Regiment units were pressing hard on the heels of the retreating German Forces.  In the main, their task was…

The centre remaining closed for the unforeseeable future, has become home for the next four months to a second Willy's J...
03/04/2020

The centre remaining closed for the unforeseeable future, has become home for the next four months to a second Willy's Jeep, whilst it's owner is on detachment to the Falklands.

24/03/2020

Superb to hear the award to RAF Regiment squadrons of the Battle Honour ‘Afghanistan 2001-2014’, with the right to emblazon. Fitting national recognition for the Regiment’s exceptional achievements during the difficult and dangerous fight in Afghanistan, particularly ops to protect strategically-important air power at Kabul Airport, Kandahar Airfield, Camp Bastion, and also the Medical Emergency Response Teams.

Amongst the 1st to arrive in Theatre in Op FINGAL and the last to leave on Op HERRICK, the RAF Regiment’s task was operationally significant and tactically complex. The Regt’s officers and gunners (regular and reserve) acted with highest professionalism in the face of an implacable and deadly enemy. We lost many killed and wounded in action, and endured a punishing tempo of deployments.Every squadron that fought in Afghanistan has been awarded the Battle Honour. These are (in seniority order): II, 1, 63, 15, 51, 27 and 34 Sqns RAF Regt; and (the now disbanded): 58 and 3 Sqns RAF Regt.

16/03/2020

RAF Regt Heritage Centre COVID-19

In the light of the advice received by RAF Honington and with due regards to our duty of care to the Heritage Volunteer Team, the RAF Regiment Heritage Centre will close to visitors with immediate effect. Some essential work will be carried out by individuals in maintaining the On line shop which will remain open during the period for business. Our FB, Whats App and Twitter feeds will also be maintained with new articles and keeping people in touch. We apologise for this inconvenience but we are following Government strategy and appreciate your support. Any specific enquiries can be addressed via the FB pages or RollinRock102 .com.

Regards
Bill
Bill Espie BEM|Curator|RAF Regiment Heritage Centre|

12/03/2020

75 years ago today, the men of 1307 Wing RAF Regiment and the defenders of Meiktila Main Airfield, spitting distance away from the vitally important small market town were hurridly competing the defences and strategy for the holding of these two all-weather runways, which held the key to Bill Slim’s objective - Rangoon and liberation of the Burma Road that would keep hundreds of thousands of Japanese Troops engaged in China rather than the islands and the Philippines and Okinawa, allowing McArthur and Nimitz to isolate the Home Islands.
Hondas 33rd Army had successfully encircled Cowan’s armour and were gathering strength for all angles to take back the town. What followed was the desperate and heroic actions by the defenders of D Box who retreated to their night positions at last light and emerged into the knee-high scrub which covered the landing strips each morning. They were locked into the “clearing patrol” which held the certainty of Japanese snipers, stay behind parties and death. Meiktila was the hinge of the Battle for the Irrawaddy Bend and that battle was the key to the outcome of the Japanese campaign.
Sponsored and aided by the granddaughters and their partners of Wng Cmdr Bill Lander, who commanded 1307 Wing during the siege and who gave his life on the 26th March 1945, leading his Wing in a counter-attack, we are proud to have refurbished the SEAC gallery which will be opened later today.

The refurbishment/construction of the centres Meiktila exhibit to commemorate its up coming anniversary is nearing compl...
10/03/2020

The refurbishment/construction of the centres Meiktila exhibit to commemorate its up coming anniversary is nearing completion.
The big reveal will be on the 12th of March.

12/02/2020

Remembering
Remembrances are as different and individual as the person who has them. They are part of normal life and death. However, when a young man pays the greatest sacrifice in doing his duty for us then the Remembrance takes on a different hue - it demands of us the same dedication to our duty as he did to his. These duties have been brought back into sharp focus because of the conflicts over the last 20 odd years.

Our Remembrance tomorrow is for Ryan Thomlin, who was killed in action 8 years ago while providing cover for his 2 Sqn comrades foot patrol. Nothing can take away the loss and sorrow of his death. He was doing what he loved to do with his mates. Our condolences to his family and friends remain constant. They may appear to mute with the years but they are not lessened in any way. Neither is the pride we feel for the young men and now women as well, in doing their duty. Join us in a moment of reflection tomorrow around 11 and have a remembrance of your own, it can be someone personal to you or remembering Ryan. A moment of thought can contain huge amounts of remembrance and through that, we allow gone, like Ryan to never be forgotten.

God Speed Ryan
Per Ardua

Today the 1st February 2020 is the 78th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force Regiment one of the most div...
01/02/2020

Today the 1st February 2020 is the 78th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force Regiment one of the most diverse Regiments in British Military history. No job to small or too big on active service somewhere in the world since 1942. Proud to have served. Happy Anniversary to all Rocks past and present

15/01/2020

Monthly maintance test run done.

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RAF Honington
Ely
IP311EE

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Wednesday 9am - 3pm

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THE RAF REGIMENT HERITAGE CENTRE

Our purpose is to assist in raising the profile of the Corps with the General Service Community and the public at large by providing a focal point for the collection of artefacts and documents appertaining to, and acquired by, the RAF Regiment and its Associated Forces. The Heritage Centre will be the main exhibition area to display and preserve the story of the Regiment’s history and provide a learning resource.


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Trying to find a donate link, can anyone point me in the right direction please
A distanced remembrance.

Like ghosts across the gravel,
The silent footsteps tread.
No need to hear the “left and right”,
The beat set in their head.

Parade grounds standing empty,
But not for lack of care.
The pride deep in the millions,
Whose silent hearts march there.

The standards still will flutter,
their colours ride the breeze.
Remembering the fallen,
From the land and skies and seas.

The medals cleaned and polished,
The poppies worn with pride.
Though the population scattered,
A country’s hearts are side by side.
©DaveCappsOctober2020
Looking for ex-members of 19 Squadron RAF Regiment who deployed to Upper Heyford from Brize with Rapier during TacEvals for RAF Upper Heyford Heritage Centre.
Posted about the Last Blackburn Beverley before, my late father photographed it when it was to be turned into a restaurant Cambridge, it then went to the Army Museum of Transport located in Beverley, where I saw it in the '90s, it was then moved to another museum, where it sat, well she's up for auction, so if anybody is interested, maybe check out the sale.

Anyone know when these guys went out of business? “25LAA”
Hi all, Sean in Oz. Just finished my PhD on the RAAF policy of airfield defence 1929-1970 and now I am doing some research on RAAF airfield defence National Service in the 1950s. I have found a CPL Higham in the RAAF as an Aerodrome Defence Instructor. Would anyone from the 1950s remember a Gunner Higham. He states he did a Regiment Gunners course with 61% pass and then did a Junior Instructors course.

Any help would be great thanks.
I was wondering if you could help. My late father G N Sims (185433) RAF served in Cyprus from 1962-1965. He was MiD at the same as quite a few RAF Regiment (Hobden, Ledlie, Burnham). Do you have any information about this ? Many thanks
Can anyone point me in the right direction for a WW2 history of 2744 Squadron (my late Father's outfit from 1939 to 1945). I heard a bit about Dice near Aberdeen and Lampedusa but like many he didn't want to talk about his experiences. I would like to piece together his service record.
Is this our Roy Ives on GMB now?
I'm looking for information, stories & pictures of 19 Squadron RAF Regiment Rapier deployments from Brize Norton to Heyford for RAF Upper Heyford Heritage (which includes the 'Rapier Room' in the Wing Command Centre occupied by 19 Sqn). Can anyone help me ensure that the story is accurate ?
Hi all at the RAF regiment Heritage centre. Im an artist and member of the Guild of Aviation Artists. Im working on a painting of RAF Scampton in late 1942. My picture will show a couple of members of the RAF Regiment and wondered if they would be wearing No1 uniform or battle dress. I've attached a couple of scribbles. The painting will show a group of Saboteurs from the Hertfordshire regiment who broke into the base and painted white crosses on aircraft and buildings. (My grandfather led the raid !! and is shown handing over the paperwork that stopped them being shot !! ) Any help would be really appreciated !
Calling all Veterans of the Secret War in Dhofar1969-76 who helped Win the War! Most served on the Hedgehogs protecting RAF Salalah.

There is a dedicated page Dhofar Veterans 2 which was set up by a Sapper, Sid Pass. Please join and share your photos and stories before we all fade away!

I was Cracker Battery RA and controlled the Guns, Mortars and Strikemasters on the Diana’s and Hedgehog B. I was there Apr-Jun 73.

Unique!