News from the Kenley Revival Project

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May 2020

Welcome to the Kenley Revival Project Newsletter.

As the Coronavirus lockdown continues..

City Commons would like to thank those people who have been using Kenley Common responsibly to take their exercise. 

Please remember:

  • stay local
  • keep 2m apart
  • wash your hands after touching gates 
  • be considerate of other users
  • keep dogs under close control, preferably on a lead
  • take litter and dog waste home with you

Sadly, Kenley Airfield Friends Group have had to cancel their Heritage Day, which was planned for 16th August.

Looking on the bright side, we've had some really beautiful weather and some of you have sent in lovely photos of the airfield, including this one from Andy Browne.

Online Memorial Update

One of our primary aims has been to remember the personnel who served at RAF Kenley, especially those who gave their lives.

Our online memorial is dedicated to preserving their memory and we are indebted to the families of the fallen who have allowed us to add photographs and information about their loved ones.

There are now more than 100 service men, and one woman, on our database. Some of the entries are incomplete and we still have quite a few more casualties to add, but there has been a lot of progress during the lockdown. 

This project is drawing together the work of many researchers who have been compiling information for years, notably Neil Quinn, Colin Lee, Andy Long, Tony Adams and David Meanwell. 

We have also received a lot of assistance from Edward McManus at The Battle of Britain London Monument and Kev Barnes at The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, as well as Dave Brocklehurst MBE at Kent Battle of Britain Museum. 

Work on the online memorial will continue into the foreseeable future and is truly a team effort, so we would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has contributed to it. 


You can search through the memorial here


Photo by Matt Riddle.

Artefact Of The Month

On the 11th April, Flight Lieutenant William Terence Montague Clark DFM celebrated his 101st birthday. He served at Kenley before WW2 with No.615 Squadron. 

Terry is now one of only two surviving members of "The Few" - the other being John Hemmingway. 

Steve Teasdale kindly sent in photographs of two items which belonged to F/Lt. Clark. You can see them here and here


Photo shows 615 squadron Hawker Hectors. (Gerry Burke) and F/Lt. Clark (inset). 


Do you have anything relating to RAF Kenley you can share?

We have an amazing online archive where you can upload memories, photographs, documents or links to other online sources which relate to RAF Kenley's history. We rely on the community to help us build what could be the most extensive resource of all things relating to RAF Kenley's past.  Get in touch with us via our website, Twitter and Facebook.

Article of the Month

Squadron "Swapovers" during the Battle of Britain

Tony Adams, one of our website volunteers, has been scouring the archives to bring us an article on the logistics of moving our fighter squadrons from one airfield to another, during the Battle of Britain. 

A few days ago, I had the privilege of chatting to Stan Ford, (who served with 615 squadron as an engine fitter), about their move from Kenley to Prestwick at the end of August 1940.

He said the squadron were sent up there to be rested and had a lovely time after the trials they had endured while stationed at Kenley during the summer. Apparently, at Prestwick they got their beds made for them, and were having a great time at a local skating rink in the evenings. The Squadron was only ever at a low level of operational readiness.. BUT, Stan's sojourn in Scotland didn't last long -  the officers got fed up and wanted to get back into the action, so they asked if the squadron could be moved back to the south of England and 615 squadron were sent to RAF Northolt in October! 


You can read Tony's article about Squadron movements here

Photo: Flying Officer Petrus Hendrik "Dutch" Hugo, of No. 615 Squadron, perched on a Hawker Hurricane (specially for Stan), (courtesy of Gerry Burke).

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The City of London Corporation has seven green spaces in South London and Surrey covered by three charities: Ashtead Common, Coulsdon Commons and West Wickham Commons.

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