Latest news from Lympne Airfield History Society

Our March meeting was played host to David Brocklehurst MBE and Simon Ralph of the Kent Battle of Britain Museum at Hawkinge, who gave a illuminating talk on the Battle of Britain and the museum itself. Exciting developments at the KBOBM have recently seen the delivery of one of only two Boulton Paul Defiant fighters in existence, and a once airworthy replica of the Prototype Spitfire K5054. Both aircraft are now on show at the museum.
One week later we had the  great news that the developer had lost their high court action to try to overturn the government inspector’s decision to uphold Shepway District Council’s decision to turn down their plans to build 250 houses on the old airfield. Our next meeting will be discussing our future plans in the light of this boost, together with other areas.
Our quest to find the names of all those lost connected with the airfield has met with more success. The Stowting BOAC Dakota crash of 1947 has seen us find the names of the eight fatalities, as has the KLM Fokker FIII Channel crash of 1923, similarly succeed in identifying the three deaths. All the names we are gathering will be recorded on a permanent memorial in due course.
Another, hither to unknown record breaking attempt, has also been uncovered. Italian Leonida Robbiano took off from Lympne on 8/4/33 bound for Australia, only to plunge into the Bay of Bengal on 15th April. It was a very busy time for the Airfield and the County Members, the very next day Jean Batten set off for Australia, and two days later Bill Lancaster for Cape Town. The latter also perished in the Algerian Sahara, and Jean Batten had to abandon her attempt at Karachi. Bill Lancaster and Jean Batten spent the night before their flights at the County Members as guests, signing the visitor’s book.
We are continually discovering fascinating facts about our Airfield’s history that have been long forgotten and lost, We can all be proud of what an asset we have on our doorstep. You can find out more and get involved by coming to our next meeting at Lympne Castle on 12th May at 7.30pm.
For more details contact: John Simpson on 01303 265078
Best regards
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