East Boldre Airfield – the original RAF Beaulieu

The BEAULIEU letters
Author: Gareth Owen

To the north of the B3054 was the WWII airfield of RAF Beaulieu.  To its south was a WWI aerodrome at East Boldre, the original RAF Beaulieu, that first started in May of 1910 as the New Forest Flying School, the second flying school in the UK. The site later became an RFC and then an RAF base during WWI. The original flying school was established by two pioneers, William McArdle and John Armstrong-Drexel and there a many photographs in circulation of the early planes resting on local chimney stacks.

Few photographs are in circulation of the WWI airfield. However a recent donation to the East Boldre Village Hall Society of WWI period photos shed new light on this airbase.

Read about: East Boldre Airfield – Beaulieu Training Depot Station (S.W. Area; No 8 Group)

Karl Gosling a gaming student at Bournemouth University has been working to model some of East Boldre Airfield, find out more about his work and results here: Modelling East Boldre Airfield – Beaulieu Training Depot Station

Alongside the officer’s mess which survives as the East Boldre Village Hall you can also find other echoes of the areas flying past including the: Beaulieu Letters


Date: 1913

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