Airfield search

Bekesbourne (Bridge) (Canterbury)

Major

Did you know?

"

No 2 Squadron and its Westland Lysanders discovered on arrival at Bekesbourne in May 1940 while trying to support the Dunkirk evacuation how the previous civil owners had left in such a hurry that 600 gallons of aviation fuel had been left behind in storage tanks.

"
Also known as: Beakesbourne (misspelling) / RAF Bekesbourne / RFC Bekesbourne
County: Kent
Current Status: Farmland / Housing
Date: 1914 (unconfirmed) - June 1940
Current Use: Disused
Used By: RAF / RFC / Civil
Landing Surface Types: Unpaved
Aircraft Roles: Army aviation / Fighter / General aviation

Bekesbourne, in Kent, was a major First World War fighter airfield. Originally opened in 1914, main occupant No 50 Squadron remained ready to defend London and south-east England against Zeppelin and later Gotha bombing raids. Between both World Wars it became a popular civil airfield and was home to the Kent Flying Club. Interestingly, Britain’s first private civil pilot E.D. Whitehead Reid, a Canterbury doctor, flew from here in the 1920s to attend to patients.  

During May/June 1940 Bekesbourne was briefly revived as a military airfield for Westland Lysander Army co-operation aircraft to support the Dunkirk evacuation. A Great War General Service hangar disappeared in 1998 for new housing but a number of original buildings associated with the airfield still survive as private dwellings, including the Officers’ Mess and combined station chapel/NAAFI.

 

The following organisations are either based at, use and/or have at least potentially significant connections with the airfield (as at 01/09/2011):

  • Bekesbourne with Patrixbourne Parish Council
  • Bridge & District History Society
  • Canterbury Library

Main unit(s) present:

  • No 2 Sqn
  • No 13 Sqn
  • No 50 Sqn
  • No 56 Sqn
  • Kent Flying Club

Photographs from the unveiling of the ABCT memorial marker on 23 February 2009:

undefined

undefined

Home Defence Flight Station(s):

Detling / Throwley

Home Defence Landing Ground(s):

All Hallows / Broad Salts / Broomfield (Herne Bay), Kent / Guilton / Hunton / Leigh Green / PettSole Street / Swingfield

© 2017 ABCT All rights reserved.
Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust is registered in England and Wales. Registered Office: Suite 1, 3rd Floor, 11-12 St. James Square, London, SW1Y 4LB.
Registered Company No. 08940364. Registered Charity No (England and Wales): 1156877. Registered Charity No (Scotland): SC041123