Got a Lat/Lon?
Has anybody got any information on the old RFC airfield at Sedgeford
I know it was used fairly extensively during WW1 and I believe it was used during WWII possibly as a decoy airfield for nearby Bircham.
I have also heard that it was where Lawrence of Arabia learned to fly or am I imagining things there!
I visited the site about 3 years ago and didn't find much, just a couple of old buildings and some hardstandings with a door rail embedded into the concrete.Haven't got a clue what any of the things were so any information would be gratefully received
I recently visited the site but sadly without my camera. Since then I have been unable to find out much about the site apart from basic information. It had its own branch line connecting to the Kings Lynn line. All the sectional buildings were sold off in January 1921 by the Ministry of Munitions so really all that remains are the concrete piers on which they sat and these have been bulldozed into a corner. There were a lot of Americans housed in tents there at one time.
I believe that the pilots who shot down Zeppelin LZ61 off Lowestoft landed there as the Sedgeford station commander was the only one locally prepared to break the blackout. All the same 3 of the planes never returned. Sedgeford village itself which is about 2 miles from the site suffered bomb damage from Zeppelin L4.
The 2 remaining buildings are an air raid shelter and what is believed to be a mortuary - some 74 pilots were killed at Sedgeford during training - both are thought to be WW1 though personally I think the air raid shelter is WW2.
In WW2 Sedgeford was both a K and a Q site though it was only attacked once and that was by strafing. There is a picture of the underground bunker in the book Bircham Newton by Peter B. Gunn.
Hope some of the above is of interest.
Just taken these pictures of the air raid shelter which is believed to be WW1. The sloping brickwork above the steps has been added at a later date. Dimensions are approx 3 x 6 metres.
Can anyone suggest what the other building was used for. It may not have any connection with the RAF base but one suggestion is that it was a mortuary. As far as I can tell the brick and blockwork above the line of blue bricks may be of a later date than the bricks below.
There is an article in the Norwich Evening News
Photo gallery: Sedgeford’s first world war airfield reveals a hidden past
Monday, July 23, 2012 6:40 AM
I believe that SHARP have an interest in the site and have done some surveys - Sedgeford Historical and Archaeologocal Project. I was in touch with them a while ago about the decoy site close to the old airfield, but haven't managed to get across in the brief period they run the digs each year.
Last edited by Richard Flagg; 08-06-2014 at 22:53. Reason: updated link
There's a good report in Current Archaeology, September 2014 edition, on the work carried out there by the Sedgeford. Hhistorical and Archaeological Project. They've. Identified the sites of nearly all the buildings shown on a1918 plan as well as the two remaining buildings. They are the air raid shelter (considered to be WW1 date although not shown on the plan) and the mortuary. The latter building, also not on the 1918 plan, was identified as a mortuary by its high windows, ample ventilation and cement floor that would facilitate regular washing out. Overall, the layout of the site had some similarities to Stow Maries.
I am as yet not fully convinced that the mortuary building was in fact a mortuary. Although there are some similarities, going by the description of the mortuary/ambulance shed still standing at Stow Maries, there are also some differences. For instance, if the well-vented room at the back of the building was used as the mortuary, what was the other room used for? It can hardly have been the ambulance shed because there is no doorway into it that would be wide enough for a vehicle to pass. Furthermore, note the raised floor, making it impossible for any vehicle to access the building. And would a mortuary be placed only about 40 metres distant from the Officers' quarters?
I have so far failed to find a picture of the mortuary in Stow Maries and would be grateful if anyone who reads this might have one and post it here.
Three pictures of the structure that I've taken the other day, one with the air raid shelter seen in the foreground.
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I've also taken a few photos of the WW2 Q-site control bunker which is in very good condition. The first picture shows the generator room, next two the control room; a manufactuer's label is affixed to the roof of both.
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Ah! I can't suggest the function of that structure in Image No1 but I think the walling could be Terra Cotta Block?
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