Appeal for RAF Defford war stories - The Evesham Observer

Appeal for RAF Defford war stories

Evesham Editorial 3rd Jun, 2018   0

A RALLYING call has gone out for volunteers to lend their support and help share the stories of the people who served at RAF Defford during the Second World War.

Staff at Croome are on the lookout for enthusiastic, chatty and eager volunteers to become volunteers at the museum and introduce the stories of bravery to new audiences.

The popular museum tells the fascinating history of the airfield which was built in 1941 on part of the 18th century landscape park at Croome.

During the Second World War and the Cold War years that followed, Defford airfield was one of the most secret places in the country.

War-winning airborne radar was tested and evaluated for the RAF at the site while in 1940 part of ‘Capability’ Brown’s beautiful landscape park at Croome was requisitioned by the Government for the building of the large airfield providing accommodation for more than 2,200 service personnel and scientists and was home to 130 aircraft of 25 different types.

“Croome’s greatest contribution to society was in the development of airborne radar, contributing to the safety of airline travel today,” said John Sterry, museum steward.

New volunteers of all ages are now sought to help to share these memories with visitors, about the scientists and airmen who spent their early lives developing technology that helped to win the war; about the WAAFs, the Wrens and the women scientists and technicians, and the civilians who all played a part in the work at Defford.

This is the story about what happened at Croome in the 20th century and the story still continues to unfold.

One particular volunteer, Jayne Ball, has a personal connection with RAF Defford as her father Roy Hodges was one of the scientists based at TRE in Malvern and he flew on many occasions testing his equipment from the airfield at Defford.

He was awarded the MBE in 1957 but was never able to speak about his work and it is only since he died in 2009 that she has been able to discover more about his achievements and his contributions, not only to British efforts in winning that war, but also to air travel as we know it today.

“It gives me great pleasure to be able to keep his and his colleagues memories alive,” said Jayne who has been volunteering in the museum since it opened in 2014.

“I love talking to visitors who often have their own talks about how their parents/grandparents contributed in many different ways to our victory.

“This was a period in time when women were able to show that they were capable of doing so much more than raising children and looking after a home; here at Defford museum some of these women’s fascinating stories are told.”

Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to e-mail [email protected] for more information.

Call 01905 371006 or visit for more about Croome.


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