SU3600 : East Boldre airfield and the 'Beaulieu' letters (1)

taken 2 years ago, near to Furzey Lodge, Hampshire, Great Britain

East Boldre airfield and the 'Beaulieu' letters (1)
East Boldre airfield and the 'Beaulieu' letters (1)
These are the unique identification letters of one of Britain's earliest airfields that were cut into the turf to the east of Beaulieu Heath at East Boldre, sometime between 1910 and 1916. The letters are 15 feet high spanning 110 feet in length, and were covered over during WWII and therefore do not appear on any aerial photos of that time. The letters were restored by local volunteers in 2012, who cut down to the original chalk infill.

A private flying school was first established here in 1910 by two aviation pioneers, William McArdle of Bournemouth, and a wealthy American J. Armstrong Drexel, where you could learn to fly a Bleriot monoplane for 80! The school lasted two years, and closed in 1912. With the outbreak of WWI in 1914, the airfield was taken over by the fledgling Royal Flying Corps who established the flying training school of RFC Beaulieu in 1915. The attrition rate of pilots killed on the Western Front meant that there was a constant need for trained pilots, and inevitably in order to meet this need, the school expanded considerably between 1915 and 1918.

With the end of the war, the airfield closed in the Spring of 1919, and all the buildings were eventually removed by 1922 with the exception of the Officers Mess, a building that to this day remains East Boldre's Village Hall.

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SU3600 : East Boldre airfield and the 'Beaulieu' letters (2)
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SU3600, 21 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 26 July, 2016   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 27 July, 2016
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Air transport  Construction, Development  Heath, Scrub  Defence, Military 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 36646 00976 [1m precision]
WGS84: 50:48.4311N 1:28.8771W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 3666 0095
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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Other Tags
RFC Beaulieu 

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Image Type (about): geograph 
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