View Full Version : Poulton

Lt Cmdr ( A )
19-11-2008, 16:27
Called in at RAF Poulton the other day, not much available to see for the general public, am told that most of it is The Duke of Westminsters Estate and you can't just go wandering around.

Will be contacting the Estate on Thursday, hopefulloy they'll let photograph wahts left.


Lt Cmdr ( A )
19-11-2008, 16:38
View from head of main runway looking West.


Richard Flagg
19-11-2008, 17:18
A couple of nice photos and some good light too. Look forward to seeing a few more and fingers crossed you get permission to visit the rest of the site.

20-02-2012, 20:20
passing Poulton, enroute to Hawarden

28-07-2015, 16:20
Does anyone know how a Tactical Exercise Unit ( TEU ) differs from an Operational Training Unit ( OTU ) in respect to RAF Poulton ?

Was Eaton Hall ever used as an Officer Cadet Training Centre ?

Peter Kirk
28-07-2015, 16:58
I had a feeling that the TEU was rather like an Armament Practice Camp or the Fighter Leaders School were they taught specifics to pilots already posted to units. This may have been part of the training and build up to Overlord.

28-07-2015, 18:36
A TEU was specifically aimed at teaching the specifics of ground attack, as Peter says in the build-up to Overlord (and beyond). It was aimed at 2nd Tactical Air Force pilots who would mainly be flying Typhoons and Spitfires in service. The TEUs were typically equipped with Typhoons, Spitfires and Hurricanes. There were only two or three from memory and they were disbanded by autiumn 1944.

28-07-2015, 21:05
Correcting my own reply, and with reference to RAF Flying Training and Support Units since 1912 (Sturtivant & Hamlin), there were in fact four TEUs.

No.1 TEU formed 1 Jan 1944 at Tealing out of No.1 Combat Training Wing, and disbanded 31 July 1944.

No.2 TEU formed 15 Oct 1943 at Grangemouth out of No.2 Combat Training Wing, and disbanded 25 June 1944.

No.3 TEU formed 14 March 1944 at Poulton, disbanded 21 March 1944 into No.41 OTU at Hawarden. Reformed on the same day at Annan by renumbering No.4 TEU. To Aston Down on 17 July 1944 and disbanded 18 Dec 1944.

No.4 TEU formed 26 Jan 1944 at Annan out of No.55 OTU. Redesignated No.3 TEU on 21 March 1944.

Presumably each airfield (and/or its satellites) had a suitable ground or sea range nearby for practicing low level bombing, strafing etc?

Peter Kirk
28-07-2015, 22:20
For Poulton I suspect that the ranges were Fenns Moss for dive bombing and Prestatyn for ATA & ATG firing. I did look at No.1 TEU ORB but found nothing on ranges. I know that Tealing used Lunan Bay, which appeared to be gunnery. Dummy attacks would also be made on factories and Army columns on the move, all by arrangement of course. Sadly none of the 2nd TAF books mention ranges, as far as I know, probably because the records don't but the pre-invasion build up created a lot of new ranges, some I have found and probably quite a few I haven't. They would have been only been used for a short time meaning they never got a mention on post war closure records.

It's a shame really as some squadrons would have been working up on ranges with new weapons, some with R/P and some adding bombs to their training, especially dive bombing, although not the Ju87 type. The trouble is that I find this interesting but a lot of historians and readers don't and neither did the record keepers :(

29-07-2015, 12:43
Was Eaton Hall ever used as an Officer Cadet Training Centre ?

Yes it was at least post-war. My stepfather was a discip sergeant on the permanent staff for around three years in the late '50s IIRC. This was Army not RAF.

29-07-2015, 13:27
Was Eaton Hall ever used as an Officer Cadet Training Centre ?

Yes it was at least post-war. My stepfather was a discip sergeant on the permanent staff for around three years in the late '50s IIRC. This was Army not RAF.

Digging through my archive over night I discovered that the Army were paying £22K a year to maintain the house and had been one of the principle reasons for surrendering the lease back to the Dukes of Westminster ( ? )

The first lease apparently had been to the Navy and then the Army.

29-07-2015, 19:57
Some years ago I had a drinking friend who was a member of the aristocracy and who had fond memories of his family visits pre-war to Eaton Hall as guests. He was at that time approaching his teens.
In the post-war years after many deferments, including three years at Oxford, he was persuaded to fulfil his patriotic duty by reporting for National Service. He was not a willing soldier and had studied Ghandi’s tactic of passive resistance. He was within a few weeks sent for a War Office Selection Board (WOSBY) to the same Eton Hall where a number of the servants on the Estate fondly remembered Young Bill.
He was bright and extremely intelligent man which led to a certain amount of conflict with the Board where his questioning nature was not admired.
He described the POM’ s being broken up into groups to calculate the trajectory and impact of shells fired in respect to a diorama with toy guns laid on top of a billiard table.
When the toy gun was fired a counted timing sequence was chanted out until the shell should have landed when to the amusement and amazement of the POM’s a puff of smoke was seen.
The explanation of this piece of theatre was that two squaddies were crouched under the table where a number of tubes were dangling and when a light came on by a tube they crawled over and blew a puff of cigarette smoke up the tube.
When he came to his final interview the chairman remarked that they did think he had taken them very seriously. He reported that in reply to this he said “One does ones best Sir under the circumstances”
The final straw was probably that he was seen tipping the servants when he left to become a private in the Manchester Regiment.
His time with the Army continued in Germany which was another beautiful story.