The RAF Martlesham Heath

Roll of Honour Project

The Roll of Honour web site is just one aspect of a larger project which aims to promote and maintain the memory of those killed at, over or from RAF Martlesham Heath.

The introduction page details the formal aspirations. They are ambitious and carry no guarantee of completion however I remain determined to at least lay the foundations in the hope that they may become reality.

The project began life as an unassuming investigation into an otherwise unknown subject. Very soon I realised that there was far more to it than originally met the eye. It was also evident that there was a great deal of interest and support for what I was hoping to achieve.

During the early stages of the work I pored over masses of source information, official and otherwise. I read several accounts of those who had attempted similar projects before. All warned of the meticulous time consuming work which could be, at times, tedious and frustrating.

Many years have passed since their deaths and, as a result, few relatives or friends remain. Detail contained within official records can be scant if available at all. There are often contradictions between published books, newspaper accounts, and even statements. Unfortunately, on occasion, artistic license has been used to fill voids in otherwise gapped accounts. Another issue is the reliance on anecdotal evidence or first and second hand memory, especially after so many years.

In April 2007 the first mile stone was achieved in that a draft list of those to be included was established. The following month saw the publishing of this site and work has continued ever since. During the Autumn of 2007 several technical difficulties saw its temporary demise until the intervention of local web designer, Linn Barringer. After some work it was re established as a fully operational site in January 2008 where it continues to attract support.

During the 2007 remembrance day service held on the Martlesham Heath Barrack Square, the Roll of Honour was read for the very first time in public. This hugely significant event was witnessed by many local residents and veterans alike and included, also for the first time, the names of the Americans of the 356th Fighter Group. It is proposed to include more information and photographs regarding the service on this site in due course.

This page is planned as a continual “work in progress” and will publish updates as and when they are available.

Many people have very kindly offered considerable financial, professional and project management advice. Undoubtedly, in time, this will become invaluable. At this stage, however, my major priority is with confirming each detail of each airman and each circumstance. This is a painstaking process that requires meticulous attention to detail and huge amounts of time.

The next phase of the project is a formal book of remembrance similar to that for the 356th Fighter Group. The vast majority of the work has been completed and once all detail has been verified I hope to get this part of the project underway at the earliest opportunity.

Please keep visiting the site for regular updates.

Many thanks for your support

    Rob Drake     December 2009

 

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