RAF Morpeth

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Reference WMO/280013


St Mary's Inn

St Mary's Village


NE61 6BL


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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Roadside
Description: Other sculpture
  • Metal Metal (any)
Lettering: Inscribed on a plaque
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial: Steel Model Spitfire in skeleton format, with 16 feet wing span, made to scale. Beside it is a plaque giving the story. St Mary's village is built on the site of the former St Mary's Hospital
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The information board reads: This memorial is dedicated to the airmen of RAF Morpeth. The airfield initially housed No.4 Air Gunnery School (4AGS). Accommodation was in 10 dispersal sites to the north and east of the airfield near Tranwell village and the Whitehouse Centre (post-war this became a children’s hospital). The main aircraft used during its early existence for teaching air gunner was the unpopular Blackburn Both, which was very heavy and under-powered, often taking the whole of the runway to get airborne. Following several crashes and collisions, it was eventually replaced by the Avro Anson. Most of the air gunnery practice occurred offshore at Drurudge Bay where several of the original wartime structures still exist at the National Trust site, and flew between Newbiggin by the Sea and Coquet Island near Amble. Many of the airmen who flew here were Polish and several settled in the Morpeth. area following the war. A large number of Polish casualties including airman from the airfield are buried in the graveyard of St.Mary’s Church, Morpeth. Other units included No.72 Squadron R.A.F. No.80 (French) Operational Training Unit RAF. No.261 Maintenance Unit RAF No.80 (French) Operational training Unit RAF was formed in April 1945 at RAF Morpeth to train French fighter pilots using the Supermarine Spitfire and Miles Master. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.

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