Boxted Airfield Historical Group

Group History
The group based in Colchester Essex was formed in the year 2000 by Richard Turner. Richard has researched the history of Boxted airfield since 1995 and has staged exhibitions with the material collected since January 1999.

There was a lot of local interest and so he decided that if this project was going to continue, more help was needed. So after a meeting of enthusiasts, the first committee was formed in February 2000.

Membership now stands at over 100 worldwide, including airfield veterans, both American servicemen and RAF personnel, who were based at Boxted. The group holds regular meetings with guest speakers, film evenings, etc. Full details can be found on the “Group Events” page on this web site.

We would welcome your comments on the layout and information contained in this site - please use the form on the "Contact Us" page.

If you would like to become a member of our group, please go to our "Group Membership" page for details. We also offer free life membership to any personnel who served at Boxted, whether it was with the US Army Air Corps or the RAF.

Refurbishment of airfield memorial
During 2007, a grant was given to Langham Parish Council to repair the village war memorial. Included in the application was a request for money to refurbish the airfield memorial. Our group was asked if we would like to be involved in the design process and, after some deliberation, we suggested a wall should be built about 5 feet high around the present monument, which was agreed by the Parish Council. Carved into the granite are the names of the American units and the dates that they were stationed at Boxted, and also details of the RAF use of the field. The refurbishment was completed in April 2008.

Annual Report by the Committee for year ending 28 February 2019

                               

Committee: The committee met 10 times during the year to carry out the business of the Group.

 

Number of members: Total of 106, including 1 honorary member and two veterans, compared to a total of 102 in the previous year.

 

Club nights: There were 10 club nights, one of which was preceded by the AGM in April. In addition, there was a special event in August, when Roy Bozych , the official historian of the 323rdBG paid a visit from the USA and gave  a talk which was attended by members and a number of prominent local B 26 historians.

 

Social: The annual Christmas meal was held at the Garrison Officers’ Club on 13 December and raised £49 for Group funds via a raffle etc.

 

Museum: The museum had a good season with the usual 8 regular openings on the last Sunday of the month from March to October. Members of the South Essex Amateur Radio Society were again in attendance on two occasions broadcasting from the museum and gave us valuable on the air publicity. In addition, there were a number of private visits by various local clubs and organisations.  The museum again participated in the Heritage Open Days on 15th and 16th September which were attended by about 150 visitors. Whilst these days were free admission, the museum benefited by sales of refreshments and souvenirs.

 

 In addition, being the 75th Anniversary year of the airfield, we held a special event on 10th June attended by a number of dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant of Essex and the Mayors of Colchester  and Boxted. The event was open to the public in the afternoon when a number of talks were given. Other talks were given as part of this commemoration at our regular openings in May and June and we were delighted to welcome a number of  visitors from the USA, whose relatives had either served at Boxted or at other nearby US airfields and who delivered presentations. On 3rd June there was also a guided walk of the airfield attended by 48 people. Our 24 June open day saw the opening of our “Buildings Then and Now” photo exhibition financed by a HLF grant, which will be a regular feature at future open days.

 

The DVD is continuing to sell well. In addition, there were a number of souvenirs produced for the 75th anniversary.

 

During the Winter closure, work has been proceeding in the third building on a new expanded Marauder display, the first part of which it is hoped to have on view at the March Open Day.

 

Work is continuing in marking and entering all exhibits in an Accessions Register.

 

Publicity /website : The Museum continues to receive regular publicity in the local press and through the distribution of flyers and posters to other museums and libraries. The website plays a valuable role in raising the profile of the museum and the Group’s activities and a copy of this report will be placed on the website. The website has had  5667 hits in the past 12 months.  Additionally, the museum has been publicised on Google Earth attracting some 890 hits. The museum was listed in the Flypast magazine 2018 Museums Supplement.

 

 

Work with other organisations: The Group continues to work with the American Museum database at the IWM Duxford, inputting additional information from its own archive. It continues to be represented on the Small Museums in Essex Group.

 

Future plans :

 

During the coming year, work will continue on expanding the Marauder display in the new building and will feature a number of new exhibits.

 

The long awaited book on the history of the airfield is expected to be published in the Autumn.