RAF Balderton, Newark, Nottinghamshire Former Airfield During the 2nd World War

 RAF Balderton Research Group

 Remembers Them – Our Tribute

Please Contact : Pete Stevens – 07486009293 – email: peterjstevens@hotmail.co.uk




Shaun Noble https://www.facebook.com/noggin1969

Colin Savill https://www.facebook.com/colin.savill.7?fref=ts

Hampden group photo, 408 ‘Goose’ Squadron, RAF Balderton. May 1942



Lancaster Bomber

Hampden Mk.I of No.408 (Goose) Sqd and its crew at RAF Balderton sometime in September 1941

We Remember Them

 RAF Balderton Research Group

Ralph Van den Bok qualified as a Wireless Operator / Air Gunner in April 1941, and is believed to have flown an operational sortie to Kiel with No. 83 Squadron, a Hampden unit operating out of Scampton, Lincolnshire, that July. Be that as it may, his operational career commenced proper with his appointment to No. 408 (Goose) Squadron, R.C.A.F., another Hampden unit, operating out of Balderton, Nottinghamshire, in August 1941.

Between then and being recommended for his D.F.C. in May 1942, he completed 22 sorties and 126 operational flying hours, and gained appointment as Squadron Signals and Gunnery Leader, his targets, as stated, including German battleship Scharnhorst. Not mentioned in the recommendation, however, is the fact his captain, a New Zealander, D. S. N. “Tinny” Constance, attacked the enemy battleship from about 800 feet, or indeed the fact that one projectile came through the fuselage – right between Van den Bok’s legs – and out through the roof: the date in question was the 12 February 1942, the day of the famous “Channel Dash”, when another gallant aviator, Eugene Esmonde, won a posthumous V.C.

Nearing the end of his operational tour with a strike on Saarbrucken on the night of 28-29 August 1942, Van den Bok added an immediate Bar to his D.F.C., when, on returning from the target, his Hampden (AE197 EQ) was shot down by an enemy night fighter – piloted by top-scoring ace Hauptman Wilhelm Herget – and crashed at Boussu-lez-Walcourt, some 25 kilometres S.S.W. of Charleroi. His pilot, Wing Commander J. D. Twigg, and Flight Lieutenant I. Maitland, D.F.C., were killed, but Van den Bok, who was wounded in the leg by a piece of shrapnel, and Flight Lieutenant G. C. Fisher, both evaded – a remarkable journey of 3,000 miles through enemy occupied territory, the whole accomplished in just three weeks. He was duly elected to membership of the Caterpillar Club.

Grounded and “rested”, Van den Bok trained as a pilot, was awarded his “Wings” in November 1943, and returned to the operational scene as an Acting Squadron Leader and Flight Commander in No. 214 (Federated Malay States) Squadron, an American Flying Fortress unit operating out of Oulton, Norfolk, in November 1944. Charged with carrying out radio counter-measure operations, No. 214 flew “Window” and jamming sorties right through to the War’s end, Van den Bok completing a further 17 sorties, thereby bringing his tally of trips to 46, with a total of 282 operational flying hours. He was duly recommended for a Second Bar to his D.F.C. in June 1945.

Van den Bok died in Whiteparish, Whiltshire on New Year’s Day, 1973, aged sixty-five.

  RAF Balderton Research Group

Balderton, England. 1945. Group portrait of a crew of No. 227 Squadron, RAF. From left to right, back row: William Buckingham RCAF, mid-gunner of Lucknow, Ontario; Bob Dolman RAF, engineer of Melksham, Wiltshire, England; unidentified ground crewman RAF; Ralph Ward RAF, navigator of Isleworth, Middlesex, England; front row: 427179 George Wraight RAAF, signaller of Fremantle, WA; Pilot Officer Daryl K. (Skippy) Skipworth, RAAF of Pinaroo, SA; William (Smithy) Smith RAF, rear gunner of Littlehampton, Sussex, England; Frank Stedman RAF bombardier of Ealing, London, England. (Donor G. Wraight)

 RAF Balderton Research Group

Hampden Mark I 408 Squadron RCAF engine test in the snow at Balderton.

RAF Balderton map. Zoomed in map with roads and present day landmarks tagged. This map was created from a much larger image by Ashley Irons.

 RAF Balderton Research Group

Whittle’s Wellington note the Jet outlet where the rear gunner should be, this came to Balderton just after the concrete runways were laid.

The hybrid aircraft was delivered to Hucknal in October 1943 and Harvey Hayworth flew it on the 30th of December., after which it went to RAF Balderton, Newark where a flight trials unit had been set up to test Whittle’s jet engines. In April 1944 it accompanied Z8570/G to Church Broughton where it remained until June. Sir Frank Whittle lived and worked on his engine designs at Balderton Hall during this time.

Handley Page Hampden in the Snow at RAF Balderton 1941/42

 RAF Balderton Research Group

Douglas C-47A of the 84th Troop Carrier Squadron. RAF Balderton. 1944?

Neil W G Stevens This was the aircraft of Lt Charles ‘Chub’ Waltman of the 84th Sqdn, identified by the white smile painted on the chin of the a/c ‘so the Germans would know I was friendly’!! Unlikely to be Balderton as this was painted on after the 437th had been at Ramsbury for some time; the mission markings also suggest some time after D-Day along with the lack of over wing invasion stripes.

100_3713By Laurencegoff LG Newark Cemetery


By Laurencegoff LG

This Memorial can be found on the wall up high – On Nat West Bank -Stodman Street Newark

Ashley Irons

Balderton Hall was bought in 1930 by Nottinghamshire county council for conversion to a mental hospital but work on this stopped during World War II. On this aerial photo from 1946 you can just about make out the ‘H’ block formations of the hospital layout next to RAF Balderton. (building work haulted during WWII). I have cropped and zoomed this image from a much larger shot and added text to show present day site information / road names.

The Tawny Owl is quite a bit away from the actual site though. I’d like to see it on the site if possible and visible from the road somewhere between Hollowdyke Lane and Sykes lane.

Lancaster Grange was chosen in honour of the brave airmen who flew Lancaster Bombers from Balderton during world war Two. On 5th August 2014 they had  a memorial To RAF Balderton they suffered the losses throughout the war with the Royal Canadian Airforce and  Lancaster bomber squadron.

Ashley Irons

Balderton Hall was bought in 1930 by Nottinghamshire county council for conversion to a mental hospital but work on this stopped during World War II. On this aerial photo from 1946 you can just about make out the ‘H’ block formations of the hospital layout next to RAF Balderton. (building work haulted during WWII). I have cropped and zoomed this image from a much larger shot and added text to show present day site information / road names. — in Balderton.



The Lancaster was the work-horse of RAF Bomber Command and the most successful bomber of World War Two. Lancaster crews took part in 156,000 missions and dropped 618,378 tons of bombs on targets in Germany and occupied Europe.

 Flying For our Freedom

Crew of Excalibur pictured at RAF Balderton.

Ashley Irons This aircraft later crashed on the 30/31st of March 1944 while on a mission to attack the city of Nuremberg.



In a series of moonlit raids the Lancasters flew very low and dropped ‘bouncing bombs’. The missiles were designed to skim across the water, hit the dam and sink to the bottom unleashing enough explosive power to breach the structure.

Two of the four dams targeted were destroyed and the raids flooded mines, factories and houses for 50 miles. Eight of the 19 Lancasters that took part were lost with the loss of 56 men: 53 died and 3 were captured. However the mission became legendary and was a great boost to British morale.

Operation Hydra

On 17 and 18 August 1943, they took part in ‘Operation Hydra’ bombing the military test site at Peenemunde in Northern Germany. This was the home of the Nazis’ secret missile program, which was developing deadly V1 and V2 rockets.

596 planes, including 324 Lancasters dropped 1,800 tons of bombs on Peenemunde, destroying the factories and research facilities and setting back the missile program by between three and six months.

Attacking German cities

In 1942 in an attempt to break German morale the RAF began attacking German towns and cities in earnest.

On the night of 13/14 February 1945, 796 Lancasters took part in a joint British and American mission to bomb the eastern German city of Dresden. The bombers faced little resistance and around 20,000 civilians were killed. Six Lancasters were destroyed.

Pete Stevens Remember while we talk about all the operational sqd’s that operated out of Balderton Sir Frank Whittle bought his Jet engine to the airfield. the planes that flew with the jet were the whirlwind and wellington. That was in 1943 just after the concrete runways had been laid. 


SAM_5593The name Lancaster Grange residential care home


The home was chosen by children of a nearby Claypole Primary School, as part of a naming competition.

SAM_5579It a honour to the brave Airmen who flew Lancaster  Bombers from RAF Balderton during the 2nd world war.



The care  weather vane which is displayed  on the top of the building for all to see.



Di Ablewhite

Well worth speaking to Howard and the team at NAM, he was most helpful in assisting us with ideas for funding for the Interpretation Board for the Staunton Lancaster project, and I am happy to help if I can.


RAF Balderton Research GroupDi AblewhiteWould you have been a pilot or navigator? The team at BBC iWonder have put this fascinating page together about the crew on a Lancaster.



By Laurencegoff LG Newark Cemetery

... No.617 bombers in high-res (64 HQ Photos) » Lancaster-bomber-920-20The Lancaster Bomber by dazecoop

Another awesome plane was this Lancanster <b>Bomber </b>. There are only two ...

Ministry of DefenceLG

St Giles Church BaldertonThumbnail for version as of 09:44, 3 September 2007

Thumbnail for version as of 06:04, 24 July 2011

Giant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsUS Flag - Follow Link to Download!Poppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsUS Flag - Follow Link to Download!Poppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flag

Thumbnail for version as of 20:53, 12 June 2010



<b>Lancaster Bomber</b>

We will Remember them their courage and honour the sacrifice during the war. Today men and women who have followed in their footsteps

 Royal Air Force Station Balderton or more simply RAF Balderton is a former Royal Air Force station located 2.0 miles (3.2 km) south of Newark-on-Trent, between the now extinct Great Northern Railway (GNR) Bottesford-Newark line and the A1 road in Nottinghamshire, England.

Opened in 1942, it was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces. During the war it was used primarily as a troop carrier transport airfield and after for munitions storage

before it was closed in 1957. Today the remains of the airfield are located on private property being used as agricultural fields.

When was RAF Balderton built? 1941

RAF Balderton, taken 18 April 1944 oriented eastward (top). As part of the buildup to D-Day, the 439th Troop Carrier Group has large numbers of C-47s and CG-4 Horsa Gliders parked on the grass interior of airfield as well as on the dispersal loops along the perimeter track.

RAF Balderton USAAF Station AAF-482 Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svgPatch9thusaaf.png

WWII <b>Lancaster Bomber </b>flies into Winnipeg today

Hello from Melbourne, Australia
I’ve just been reading through your website and thought one of my memories might be of interest.

I was born in New Balderton in 1936 and remember the drone of aircraft at night in the 1940s when I had gone to bed. As a little lad I used to walk along London Road to Balderton Infants School (as was). I remember seeing a ruined house, the second from the corner of Grove Street, with a vague memory that the house on the corner was also damaged. I recall being told that a plane had crashed, or planes had collided. We must have been kept at home for a while because I also remember that there were no signs of an aircraft among the ruins.

I thought this might interest you and wonder if you have any more information about what happened.

Best wishes,

Brian Barratt

1606; British colonization began in 1788, as did the transportation of convicts (discontinued in 1868). Australia was declared a Commonwealth in 1901, when the six colonies (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and the offshore island of Tasmania) federated as sovereign states; Northern Territory achieved similar status in 1978. 

By Laurencegoff LG

Newark Cemetery Commonwealth and Polish War Graves

Open all year round

April – September 8am-8pm

October – March 8am-6pm

For over 150 years since 1856

Newark Cemetery

London Road


NG24 1SQ

During the Second World War there were a number of R.A.F. stations within a few miles of Newark, from many of which operated squadrons of the Polish Air Force.

A special plot was set aside in Newark Cemetery for R.A.F. burials and this is now the war graves plot, where all but ten of the 90 Commonwealth and all of the 397 Polish burials were made. The cemetery also contains 49 scattered burials of the First World War.

A memorial cross to the Polish airmen buried here was erected in the plot and was unveiled in 1941 by President Raczkiewicz, ex-President of the Polish Republic and head of the war time Polish Government in London, supported by General Sikorski, Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Forces and war time Polish Prime Minister. When both men subsequently died, General Sikorski in 1943 and President Raczkiewicz in 1947, they were buried at the foot of the Polish Memorial. General Sikorski’s remains were returned to Poland in 1993, but there is still a memorial to him at Newark.


Commemoration, Honouring Their Memory To Them

Newark On Trent

A time to remember – they will never be forgotten

“We reflect 
on times past and will remember 
but never forgotten”

Newark Cmentarz Commonwealth War Graves i Polski
Czynne cały rok
Kwiecień – 08 wrzesień am-godzina dwudziesta
Październik – marzec 8 rano, godzina osiemnasta
Przez ponad 150 lat, od 1856 roku
Cmentarz London Road Newark Newark NG24 1SQ
W czasie II wojny światowej było wiele RAF stacje w ciągu kilku kilometrów od Newark, z których wiele działa eskadry specjalnej działce Polski Air Force.A przeznaczono na cmentarzu w Newark RAF Pogrzeby i teraz jest to wojna, gdzie groby działkę niemal dziesięciu z 90 Rzeczypospolitej i wszystkich 397 polskich pochówków dokonano.Cmentarz zawiera również 49 rozproszone pochówki First World War.A pamiątkowej krzyża do polskich lotników pochowanych tutaj został wzniesiony w spisku i został odsłonięty w 1941 roku przez prezydenta Raczkiewicza, byłego Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej i szef polskiej czasu wojny Rząd w Londynie, wspierane przez generała Sikorskiego, Komendanta Głównego Sił polskich i czasu wojny polskiego premiera. Gdy obaj później zmarł, generał Sikorski w 1943 roku, a prezydent Raczkiewicz w 1947 roku, zostały one pochowane u stóp polskiego Memorial. Szczątki generała Sikorskiego zostały powrócił do Polski w 1993 roku, ale wciąż jest mu pomnik w Newark.
Upamiętnienie, Wywiązywanie Ich pamięć o nich Newark Upon Trent
Czas, aby pamiętać – nigdy nie będą zapomniane
“Zastanawiamy się nad minionych czasów i będzie je zapamiętać, ale nigdy nie zapomniał”

“Exceptionally brave and courageous airmen, greatly admired  their memory will be deservedly preserved in years to come”

RAF Balderton, Newark, Nottinghamshire

It was built in 1941

Blenheim, DC-3, Halifax, Hamton, Horsa Glider and Waco Glider

Before it was closed in 1957

RAF Balderton is located in Nottinghamshire


Military Owner Air Ministry Operator Royal Air Force United States Army Air Forces Location Balderton, Nottinghamshire Built 1941 In use 1941-1957 Elevation AMSL 62 ft / 19 m Coordinates 53°02′11″N000°47′09″W



Today the remains of the airfield are located on private property being used as agricultural fields


RAF Balderton, Newark, Nottinghamshire Former Airfield During the 2nd World War  

 Handley Page Hampden

Handley Page Hampden

img077Pete Stevens  img089Pete Stevens

img088Pete Stevens

No. 408 Squadron’s history dates back to June 24, 1941, when RAF Bomber Command’s directive called for the formation of 408 Squadron as part of No. 5 Group RAF. It was to be the second Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) bomber squadron formed overseas. Goose Squadron, as it was to become known, was initially based at Lindholm in Yorkshire, England, and equipped with Handley Page Hampdens. During the war, the Goose Squadron converted aircraft several times. No. 408 would change from Hampden aircraft to the Halifax, and then to the Lancaster in August 1943   

img079Pete Stevens

The Wartime Memories Project – No. 408 (Goose) Squadron RCAF


img085Pete Stevens

img080    Pete Stevens

img082img081img084Pete Stevens

img086Pete Stevens

RAF Balderton, Newark, Nottinghamshire Why can’t we have a memorial to them 

img090img092Pete Stevens

img107 img096img108Pete Stevens

img109  Pete Stevens

Tagged: Handley Page, Hampden, networkingfutures.com


MS Virtual Earth: Royal Air Force Bomber Command Stations

    img113  Pete Stevens


Pete Stevens

img111Pete Stevens

RAF Balderton, the World War II airfield in England

Raf Balderton – Images


RAF Balderton USAAF Station AAF-482 Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svgPatch9thusaaf.png

  SAM_5590    Laurencegoff

Commemoration, Honouring The Memory As Our Fitting Tribute To Him

 Lest we forget




During World War II, Balderton Airfield, opened in 1941, became home to RAF bombers and Sir Frank Whittle, inventor of the jet engine, lived and worked on his engine designs at Balderton Hall

For more on the former Balderton airfield see RAF Balderton 


A large private house on the southern outskirts of the village built 1840 for Thomas Spragging Godfrey. Godfrey became sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 1853 (Times 9 February 1853, page 3) and died at Balderton Hall on 7 September 1877. The hall was advertised for sale in the Times in November 1880: house, stables, cottages for gardener and groom, and 135 acres (0.55 km2), the remaining 425 acres (1.72 km2) to be sold separately.

It was bought in 1930 by Nottinghamshire county council for conversion to a mental hospital but work on this stopped during World War II. The hospital was opened for patients in 1957 and closed in 1993. There is now housing on the former hospital site and nearby is the Fernwood business park.


I am grateful to Pete Stevens from Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) who is also a resident of Balderton for his help and information.

Many Commonwealth helped like Australian, and other Nations are buried from the 2nd World War at Newark Cemetery UK. British Commonwealth helped like RAAF 6 Australians, 44 British servicemen, RCAF 17 Canadian and RNZAF 3 New Zealanders were killed and are buried during the 2nd World War at Newark-On-Trent Cemetery UK. 

Aerial Map


Many aircraft stalled and crashed soon after take off from RAF Balderton      Handley Page Hampden Wikipedia More http://www.networkingfutures.com


Newark Cemetery, London Road, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire NG24 1SQ

 Our lasting tribute, is a time to remember them for their  heroism, bravery, valour and determination for freedom.  Let’s remember them by paying our tribute to them and for their contribution during the 2nd World War.



This Memorial Plaque which is dedicated to the thousands of men and women from the 2nd World War. I found this posted on the Nat West Bank on Stodman Street, Newark near the town hall



Canadian Red Ensign Flag during the 2nd world war, 17 (RCAF) Royal Canadian Air Force

This was the official flag of Canada from 1921 until 1957. Since 1868, Canada has used this design with slightly different alterations to the Canadian shield. The Canadian badge in the fly of the flag has gone through several revisions since then. This was used by Canadian troops in the trenches of World War I. It was also the Canadian flag that was carried to the beaches at Normandy, France by Canadian troops during the D-Day invasion of occuppied France. The entities represented in the shield are the arms of the countries where the vast majority of Canadian people hail from: England, Scotland, Ireland and France. The three green maple leaves in the bottom of the shield represent Canada itself. In 1957, the three Maple leaves were changed from green to red and that design was used until the establishment of the maple leaf flag we know today in 1965.



100_8321 by laurencegoffnewarkuk.100_8314 by laurencegoffnewarkuk.100_8313 by laurencegoffnewarkuk.

LG Laurencegoff

100_8320 by laurencegoffnewarkuk.

LG Laurencegoff

100_8319 by laurencegoffnewarkuk.



Lancaster W4270 crash memorial, Staunton in the Vale. On Thursday 18 February 1943, an Avro Lancaster, s/n W4270 of No.61 Squadron had taken off at about 1610 from RAF Syerston.

100_8318 by laurencegoffnewarkuk.


100_8317 by laurencegoffnewarkuk.

LG Laurencegoff

100_8316 by laurencegoffnewarkuk.100_8315 by laurencegoffnewarkuk.


100_8359 by laurencegoffnewarkuk.



Newark Cemetery during the War

17 Canadian Royal Air Force from the 2nd World War are buried in the

Commonwealth War Graves at Newark-On-Trent, Nottinghamshire



Many British Commonwealth helped thanks to  Royal Australian Air Force (4 killed), British, Royal Canadian Air Force (17 killed), Royal New Zealand Air Force (3 killed) and Polish Air Force some (400 killed) They are Buried in Newark-On-Trent Cemetery 2nd World War at Newark Cemetery Nottinghamshire. Let us all Remember the many Airmen that were flying Spitfires with the Royal Air Force during the Battle to save Europe 1939-1945.  Paying a fitting Tribute to our brave fighters for their contribution. 17,000 Polish pilots and ground crew members had formed 14 squadron in RAF and 2,000 were killed of which over 400  from 1940 – 1947 are buried in Newark Cemetery.


LG Laurencegoff

Cadet Keith Rollason CouzinWood, they believed that it would be an air experience flight of a life time.

On this date 29th July 1942, to help mark the 70th anniversary

Sadly two young cadets died in an accident when the plane crash, Keith Rollason Couzin-Wood  age 16 and Geoffrey Hughes of Chesterfield.  They were both on their  first flight, when RAF Hampden bomber from 408 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force, when it stalled and crashed soon after take off from RAF Balderton.

War plane crash boy remembered 70 years on.  A Newark town councillor laid a palm cross of remembrance on the grave of an air cadet killed 70 years ago in a second world war plane crash.

Keith Couzin-Wood, 16, is buried in the war graves section of Newark Cemetery.He was a passenger in an RAF Hampden bomber that crashed just after take-off from RAF Balderton on July 29, 1942.The plane, from 408 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force, stalled and crashed about two miles south-east of the airfield. The crew, which also included another cadet, Geoffrey Hughes, of Chesterfield, and two flying officers, were all killed.

Keith, a member of the Southend-on-Sea squadron of the Air Training Corps, was from Leigh-on-Sea and the youngest of four children. His father’s family were from Southwell and Normanton. It was his first flight. There is no record of the crash in the Advertiser’s archives because information was often heavily censored during the war. Many cadets were sent to work on RAF stations across the country during the war. They were used to carry messages, move equipment, load ammunition and do office work.  Mr Laurence Goff said he felt compelled to mark the 70th anniversary of Keith’s death as there was no official commemoration. He also laid flowers at the grave on the anniversary.

Dan Churcher – Newark Advertiser Reporter  http://newarkadvertiser.co.uk/

Ministry of DefencePoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsMinistry of DefenceMinistry of DefenceMinistry of DefenceMinistry of DefencePoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsMinistry of DefenceMinistry of DefenceMinistry of DefenceMinistry of Defence


Newark Cemetery is open all year round  October – March 8am – 6pm Spring – Summer  April – September 8am – 8pm

Lest We Forget, Britain honoured its war dead. Tribute to British Commonwealth and Polish Sacrifice.They departed this life into the next. Though they are hidden in the shadow of Death.Their lives for others in the love of serving our Country and their memory will never dies.

This Memorial web page by Newark resident Laurence Goff

I have dedicated this to RAF Balderton, let’s have a memorial to them.



My Website principles are that I strive to be accurate. I promptly correct any inaccuracy or error with a visible edit and update. I attribute and link to sources on the web wherever possible. My direct contact details are displayed on every page of the site. I do not receive payment or services for any reviews or editorial. And this is a personal website of Laurence Goff. The views expressed do not reflect Fernwood Parish Council, RAF Balderton or Newark Town Council who are responsible for Newark Cemetery.

Laurence Goff









One thought on “RAF Balderton, Newark, Nottinghamshire Former Airfield During the 2nd World War

  1. I was born in balderton in 1939, lived in sibcy lane for the first 20 years of my life, yes I do remember. i have so many stories I could tell.

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