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Report - - RAF Saltby | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - RAF Saltby


Gingie

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The old RAF Saltby is used today by Buckminster Gliding Club with gliders and motor gliders being either winched or towed into the surrounding skys.

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And the teas good too.

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Originally built in 1941, RAF Saltby started its life with only a grass strip and surrounding support buildings, however when the 14 OTU moved to nearby Market Harborough the airfiled was upgraded to an "A" standard with B1, and T2 hangers, a standard runway pattern and dispursed sites accommodating upto 2100 staff members. The site closed in September 1955, 52 years to the month before the memorial was errected.

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There appears to be a vast amount of history attatched to the site, aircraft and units attatched to the airfield, however this can be located elsewhere.

The surrounding dispursed sites only display the remains of numerous hut bases and stanton shelters in different states of decay.

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Note the water tower in the back ground.

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And Gingie Junior wanted a look too.

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On another of the dispursed sites the sewage works were found.

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Overall not a bad two hours of walking the many sites and talking to some locals about their memories of the once active base, finally a big thankyou to the members of the gliding club, a local farmer and the owner of "Keepers Lodge" for their permission to walk the land, not forgetting my son Gingie Junior and Noel and Chris.

Cheers.
 

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MikeStroud

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Interesting to see this. I was born in Saltby at St. Michael's Farm and my grandfather had land requisitioned to build the airfield. My dad would have explored all these buildings many times I expect. He also says he rode his bike on the roofs of the hangers that were there. An anecdote was that my grandmother saw her first black man (an American GI) drinking a pint from the Nag's Head pub sat on her garden wall, a rare site in those days.

Note, there was a memorial built by Ukrainian farm workers allocated to my grandfathers farm during/after the war. I think it was dedicated to their dead comrades. How they came to be in Saltby I don't know; maybe they fought with the Germans against the Russians. I vaguely remember my dad saying they didn't want to be sent back but they were. The memorial was close to the airfield and I saw it in a state of complete disrepair maybe 15 years ago so probably disappeared altogether now. It was built of bricks, some concrete and other material they'd have collected locally. I'm sure they probably came to a tragic end when they were returned to the Russians. Now I think about it I may go and see if I can find it again though it will be nothing but a small mound in a hedgerow as it wasn't much more than that years ago.
 

MikeStroud

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Interesting to see this. I was born in Saltby at St. Michael's Farm and my grandfather had land requisitioned to build the airfield. My dad would have explored all these buildings many times I expect. He also says he rode his bike on the roofs of the hangers that were there. An anecdote was that my grandmother saw her first black man (an American GI) drinking a pint from the Nag's Head pub sat on her garden wall, a rare site in those days.

Note, there was a memorial built by Ukrainian farm workers allocated to my grandfathers farm during/after the war. I think it was dedicated to their dead comrades. How they came to be in Saltby I don't know; maybe they fought with the Germans against the Russians. I vaguely remember my dad saying they didn't want to be sent back but they were. The memorial was close to the airfield and I saw it in a state of complete disrepair maybe 15 years ago so probably disappeared altogether now. It was built of bricks, some concrete and other material they'd have collected locally. I'm sure they probably came to a tragic end when they were returned to the Russians. Now I think about it I may go and see if I can find it again though it will be nothing but a small mound in a hedgerow as it wasn't much more than that years ago.
For anyone interested in the Ukrainian Memorial in Saltby I visited there again recently and spoke to my father about it as he remembers the Ukrainians being there. I doubt less than a handful of people know anything about it or have any interest in it but I'm adding info here so it is not lost forever.

I checked some facts with my dad. During the war Italian PoW were held at Saltby, these were then replaced by German PoW and at some point Ukrainian PoW were concentrated there. Now some of you will know that the Soviets/Stalin treated the Ukrainians appallingly in the 1930's with mass starvation and imprisonment being imposed on very large numbers (in the millions), so when the Germans invaded they were seen as liberators from the Russians by many for a while. Some Ukrainians joined the German forces and fought for them against the Russians. It would be these men that ended up in the Saltby PoW camp at the airfield, and also these men the Ukrainian memorial was built by and for.

Below is a picture of where the memorial was by the side of the road. Note the PoW camp was alongside the road in the present day wood. Note several of the woods around there didn't exist years ago but were grown to hide all the concrete rubble and debris from the airfield. I recall seeing the memorial when it was already dilapidated now it is gone completely. There is evidence of a lot of fly tipping around there so I expect someone fly tipped on it/around it and the whole lot got cleared away. Very sad as this had a story to tell of men a long way from home. The road in the picture was half the width at the start of the war and not metalled. The RAF doubled the road width to access the airfield and metalled it.

Also is a general layout of where the PoW camp was and a windowless hospital.

The memorial had the emblem shown below on it raised from the surface. All made from stone and concrete etc.
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