Battlefield History Tours

Battlefield History Tours
Incorporating History and Heritage tours

Bomber Command and RAAF in the UK 1939 to 1945 on 8 July 2019


We had quite a way to go today so therefore, bags out and ready to roll at 0830. Our first stop was in Bath and we conducted a short tour to view the extraordinary limestone buildings such as Lansdown Crescent, Pulteny Bridge, Royal Crescent and more. The buildings are spectacular in both design and texture and the colour of the stone adds greatly to the look of the buildings. Over the last few years they may have been steam cleaned to remove those couple of hundred years of the soot from the coal fires, the fires have stopped. So as the cleaning progresses, Bath will return to being that gleaming Roman City.

Further north we found our way to Leighterton, an old medieval village that is listed in the Doomsday Book where during the first World War the Australian Flying Corps had a training facility training pilots for the Western Front. As we arrived into the village we headed firstly to the Church as I had arranged for it to be opened at around 1040 and it was that time as we headed down the narrow hedged lane to the village. The Church was established in 1215 and on the wall is a framed print with all the Priests from that time till 1994 listed. Inside the Church there is an ANZAC Chapel with all the Australians lost there during the training. Learning to fly here was a dangerous occupation and that is testament to the 23 Australian graves in the CWG Cemetery that is located here. All were killed in accidents. We conducted a small Service here to ensure that they were not forgotten Every ANZAC Day there is a special Service conducted here and at the Cemetery with guests from the RAAF attending from London.

On our way north again we visited Morton-in-Marsh where during the War there was an airfield and where Philip and Peter's father had been stationed completing his training as an Air Gunner/Bombaimer. We could not gain access to the site of the airfield as it is now a Fire Service Training Centre but outside the main gate is a Memorial to all who had served there and that is where I took the shot of their father's sons standing next to the Memorial. A CWGC nearby has the graves of 67 airmen who lost their lives during the training there.

Lunch, always an important part of the day and today we had lunch in the Cotswolds in that famous village of Broadway. We arrived into Broadway, did a bus tour of the main street to select our individual preferences for our lunch and then 'Hit the Town'. It seemed most headed for the quaint little tea rooms spread through the village and all were most impressed with their choices. Michael our driver and I took the time to do some forward planning for the coming Cathedrals and Abbeys of England Tour while we had lunch, yes, in one of those lovely little tea rooms. Following that long break in Broadway we headed north towards Wolverhampton where we will be staying the night. Tomorrow we head to York after our visit to Cosford IWM with its many airplanes and conservation centre.

Graham Fleeton


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