Fas­ci­nat­ing tale of forgotten base

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION - by Mike Ben­nett

Avi­a­tion his­to­rian shares air­field story

IT has been a labour of love for his­to­rian Tony Moor.

But af­ter al­most 30 years of re­search, his his­tory of Kent’s forgotten air­field at Throw­ley has fi­nally been pub­lished.

In his book, Mr Moor, 59, who lives in Hythe Road, Ash­ford, has un­earthed fas­ci­nat­ing facts about and pic­tures of the base be­tween Char­ing and Faver­sham, which spe­cialised in train­ing pi­lots in night fly­ing.

It was only in op­er­a­tion for two years, be­tween 1917 and 1919, and was es­tab­lished to help com­bat the in­creas­ing threat from Ger­man air­craft.

De­stroyed

With many squadrons on duty in France, Lon­don was left poorly de­fended, and air­fields were set up around the cap­i­tal.

The book tells the fas­ci­nat­ing story of the for­ma­tion of 112 Squadron, which had or­ders to pa­trol Kent to in­ter­cept Gotha bombers head­ing for Lon­don.

Be­tween May 1917 and the Ar­mistice in 1918, the Ger­mans raided the area 27 times.

The at­tacks in­volved any­thing from a sin­gle air­craft to a to­tal of 43 planes and it was re­ported that one en­emy air­craft was de­stroyed for each raid.

To­day lit­tle ev­i­dence re­mains of the base as the old guard house has been con­verted into a bun­ga­low, al­though some of the foun­da­tions of other build­ings can still be dis­cov­ered in the woods.

Mr Moor, a draughts­man who started his work­ing life as an air­craft fit­ter, is now work­ing on his next book – the story of the air­field at Wye that op­er­ated at the same time.

Kent’s Forgotten Air­field: Throw­ley 1917-1919 is pub­lished by Tem­pus at £12.99.

The book is the re­sult of al­most 30 years of re­search

Pic­ture: Gary Browne pd1198141

Au­thor Tony Moor, 59, with his book Kent’s Forgotten Air­field and a model of a Sop­with Camel

Tony Moor’s book tells the fas­ci­nat­ing tale of the for­ma­tion of 112 Squadron, who pa­trolled Kent in­ter­cept­ing Gotha bombers

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