HIDEAWAYS blog

First World War exhibition returns due to popular demand

Following the earlier success of a World War One exhibition in the New Forest during May, it will be returning to East Boldre Airfield for a second instalment.

The original exhibition was organised in order to commemorate the centenary of the day the Royal Flying Corps arrived in the New Forest, with an aerial dogfight also staged in memory of the former member, Doug Gregory. He was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross and survived almost 70 mission over Nazi-occupied Europe during the war, but sadly passed away recently at the age of 92 in a tragic hit and run accident.

More than 3,000 people came to view the exhibition which included numerous historic photographs, with visitors sometimes unable to get a clear view of the displays due to the crowds of people in the East Boldre Village Hall. Many of the photographs were newly discovered, having been found in private photo albums and attics, and were only shown publicly for the first time in May.

Commemorate the Hampshire village's role in WW1

Those renting cottages in the New Forest will be able to experience the exhibition themselves by attending the two day event scheduled to take place from 3rd-4th October. Guided tours of the old airfield are also being organised, and will show those interested exactly where the hangars and other buildings were located during the war.

A spokesperson for the event said to the Daily Echo: “The hall was built as the officers’ mess during the First World War to serve the training station operated by the Royal Flying Corps. Hundreds of photographs taken by the trainees have been painstakingly restored.”

Once the conflict ended, the airfield was closed, although during the Second World War an airfield was built on the opposite side of the road.

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