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East Boldre Airfield Remembers Armistice Day


Every day 10 Nov 18 - 11 Nov 18


East Boldre Village Hall, Main Road, East Boldre, SO42 7WD


10:00 am - 4:00 pm



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East Boldre Village Hall


East Boldre Airfield Remembers Armistice Day

Walk around the Forest today and you wouldn’t have any inkling of just how much the Great War impacted on this rural beauty spot. Most people living here have no idea of this important military history on their doorstep.

There will be an exhibition at East Boldre Village Hall to commemorate the ending of WW1 and reveal this hidden history of the Great War in the New Forest - in both East Boldre and Calshot. Included in the exhibition will be hundreds of restored photographs taken during WW1 at East Boldre, including some new, recent additions, the National Park Authority’s Mobile WW1 exhibition and themed works, cards, etc by the East Boldre Painters. Books on the New Forest Airfields will be on sale. Refreshments will be available.

You may remember the East Boldre Village Hall suffered severe damage in the tornado which swept through the Village on 29 December last year. As a result, a new exhibition room has now been completed in time for the exhibition. The new room is to be named after Robert Coles who first brought the WW1 history to light in his 1980s publication which has now been incorporated into the updated authoritative book ‘From Forest Field to Western Front’.

The exhibition, at East Boldre Village Hall, will be open to the public (entry is free) on Saturday 10 November, 10am to 4pm, and on Sunday 11 November, 10am to 2.30pm, followed by a memorial service at St Paul’s Church in East Boldre.

In 1910, one of the world’s first flying schools was set up in East Boldre. It lasted only until 1912, but hot on its heels came the Royal Flying Corp (RFC) who took over its airfield and sheds. The RFC cleared the heathland, erected massive buildings and soon outnumbered the astounded villagers by three to one. They flew their machines into trees, knocked off chimney pots and even landed on the Post Office roof. Sadly, at least 46 young pilots died at East Boldre.

The RFC became the Royal Air Force (RAF) 100 years ago in 1918, but in 1920, RAF Beaulieu closed, the buildings were removed and the heath restored to grazing by New Forest ponies. All that remains is a broken chimney pot and the Officers’ Mess, now the East Boldre Village Hall, from where you can only imagine those magnificent, brave and sometimes foolhardy men in their flying machines.

See for further information.

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