Biggin Hill Memorial Museum secures star object donation from Biggin Hill veteran

Published Thursday, 14 September 2017

Interest in the forthcoming museum has been growing following a renewed media focus on the project ahead of the imminent start of construction works this autumn.

As a result, the project team have received enquiries from former veterans of war time Biggin Hill wanting to share their fascinating first hand stories, and donate objects to the museum.

A former RAF Biggin Hill Engine Fitter for 611 Squadron, contacted the museum in August. He has since generously donated the original WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) uniform worn by his wife whom he met at Biggin Hill during the Second World War.

He met his late wife at a station dance in 1943, “every Saturday night a dance was held in a hanger on the camp with a ‘proper dance floor’ and a full swing band”. After meeting they continued their courting in Bromley, making frequent trips to the pictures. His wife served with the Intelligence Office at Biggin Hill, assisting with the pilot debrief once they had returned from raids, marking information on a map on the office wall. She reached the rank of Leading Aircraft Woman and was sketched by the well-known female artist and Biggin Hill WAAF, Elva Blacker.

Her original Biggin Hill WAAF tunic will go on display in Biggin Hill Memorial Museum’s exhibitions, within a display dedicated to Biggin’s WAAFs. Three of the six military medals awarded for bravery to women in the RAF during the Second World War were awarded to Biggin WAAFs. Their stories of bravery will be celebrated in the forthcoming museum which will reveal people’s first hand experiences of war time Biggin Hill, remembering those who served at the leading fighter station and the community who supported them. The museum will safeguard Biggin Hill’s wartime heritage and St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance.

Leader of Bromley Council, Councillor Carr said: “During the past thirty years there have been many attempts by various groups to bring a museum to Biggin Hill. We are very proud that works to start building the museum and conserving St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance will commence shortly, and that the future of the Chapel will be safeguarded, ensuring that this important historic site is open to generations to come”.

The museum is set to open in November 2018, commemorating 100 years after the end of the First World War, and the team is continuing to collect stories and objects for the museum collection. If you have memories or artefacts you would like to share please contact the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum by hello@bhmm.org.uk or phone 020 8313 4916.

ENDS

Editor’s notes: Visit the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum Trust’s website www.bhmm.org.uk or www.bromley.gov.uk/memorialmuseum for further information about the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum.

For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7670 or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk