The Pollington Airfield Memorial Garden, located on the site of the former station headquarters, is a living memorial to all those who served at RAF Snaith. The inscription on the memorial stone reads –
“In memory of the 687 airmen of 51 Squadron, 4 Group, Bomber Command who lost their lives flying Halifax Bombers Marks II and III here at RAF Snaith between October 1942 and April 1945.
Also remembering the 205 airmen of 150 Squadron lost on active duty who preceded them at this airfield flying Wellington Bombers Marks I and III”.
Click here (the 51 Squadron website) for the latest news and contacts.
There are memorial plaques for many bomber crews who failed to return from missions out of RAF Snaith, and for veterans who served there. There are a few artefacts dating from the war, and several dedicated garden seats and ceremonial flagpoles. The visitors’ book is in the cubby hole in the front of the plinth bearing the engraved map of the old airfield.
The squadrons still have very strong ties with the local area. Twice a year – in May and November – local residents meet up with veterans and serving members of the two squadrons for a service of thanksgiving in Pollington church, followed by a visit to the garden for a dedication of the Memorial Stone and wreath-laying.
The garden is approached on the Heck & Pollington Lane, the minor road between Pollington and Great Heck. Click here for a map. It is accessed from Kelkay’s Gate 1 driveway, and is just past the entrance to their staff car-park. People visiting the garden during working-hours must park their cars in the designated slots in the staff car-park. During the week, heavy lorries come and go all the time, and parking anywhere in the driveway and passing-places is prohibited. The best times to visit are in the evening or at weekends and bank holidays, when things are quieter.
The Memorial is managed by the Pollington Airfield Memorial Garden Committee (PAGMC), a group of volunteers whose dedication and enthusiasm is reflected in the quality of the garden and the popularity of the reunions.
Pollington airfield was designed in March 1940 with construction commencing later that year. There were 3 hangers, 3 runways totalling 2½ miles in length, and a camp providing for some 2,000 men and 400 women, in total more than twice the population of the village today. Some buildings still remain, but most of the runways were torn up to provide building materials for the M62 motorway that passes through the north of the airfield site.
Updated Jan 2020.