Lavenham 1940s Commemorative Weekend

19th May 2019 10:00 am

Join us for a weekend of commemorations, transporting us back to Lavenham of the 1940s.  We celebrate our special relationship with the American Airforce squadrons during that time and remember those who lost their lives in the WWII conflicts.

Sunday 19th May

0900          Car Parking at First Meadow.

The meadow will be open at 0900 and close 1600 and will be run by volunteers


10.00              Wartime Memorabilia Display – by Mike Warner

In the McCallum Room – The Swan. Free entry, although we would ask for a small donation towards ‘Friends of Lavenham  Airfield’ if you’re able to support them please.

East Anglia Books will be selling their military aviation books, many of which focus on the 8th USAAF


1000           The Guildhall

During WWII, The Guildhall was a British Restaurant and the Tea Room over the weekend will be marking the event with ‘a ‘WWII Special’


1000 to 1200 Vintage Vehicles in Market Place

Come and see the vintage vehicle display in the Market Place. WWII vehicles with their proud owners and vintage cars – good photo opportunities.


1100          Airmen’s Bar – The Swan

View the collection of cap badges, shoulder titles, photos and US & UK servicemen’s  signatures (over 850 of them), many of which date back to the Second World War.


1300          Little Hall – WWII Evacuee Centre

Little Hall was an evacuee centre during WW2.  This exhibition will focus on the evacuees who came to Lavenham from a school in Bethnal Green in East London, during the Second World War. The entry fee will be £5.00 gift aided and £4.50 standard rate. This goes towards the upkeep of this ancient timber building. A donation will be made to the Friends of Lavenham Airfield.


1030           Guard of Honour Parade – The Swan Hotel

US Military will assembly outside the Swan Hotel in the High Street, together with some members of visiting veteran familys. The Parade will proceed up the High Street and arrive on the Market Place by 11.15hrs


1115           Ingratitude Gathering – Market Place

The Service will be taken by Lt.Col. Ronlad R. Ragon, Ch, USAF Wing Chaplin, from RAF Mildenhall, proceeded by a short statement by FOLA Chairmen John Pawsey. During the service, the Honour Guard from RAF Lakenheath, will lower and raise the standard.  A short address will be given, followed by the laying of a wreath by Mike Warner.


1200           Vintage Vehicle Convoy to LV Lavenham Airfield

Watch the Vintage Vehicles leave Market Place and make their way out of the village to Lavenham Airfield. Marshals will stop traffic in the High Street to enable the vehicles to travel in true convoy. You will be able to view the convoy from Market Lane junction of the High Street and going north towards the Airfield.


Vintage Bus Trips with Felix Coaches of Long Melford.  Travel to and from  Lavenham Airfield on a vintage bus (places limited but there are two trips in each direction).

Places cost £5 each and will go on sale on 17th May



To Airfield

Blue tickets – –  departure 1230 landing 1245

Red tickets – –  departure 1315 landing 1330

Return to Lavenham

Blue tickets – – departure 1530 arriving 1545

Red tickets – –  departure 1615 arriving 1630


1230           Operation Yellow Flare – Airfield Vistors

‘Operation Yellow Flare’ was the call sign for the 487th on D-Day

The airfield will be open at 1230hrs till 1600 hrs for this day only. If you wish to visit the airfield please obtain a FOLA directions map as there is only one entrance and meet at the Control Tower. Maps are available  from Lavenham Information Point and  The Swan Hotel – Lavenham

Please bring a picnic, however refreshments and snacks will also be available to purchase from Paul Jolly of the Good Food Army/Sweetmeats of Lavenham at the airfield. Paul will be serenading us with  his saxophone! A portable toilet will be available for your comfort. Lavenham airfield is private property, so please keep to the areas indicated to you by FOLA  guides. Paths and roads at Lavenham airfield are unmade or date back to World War II, so visits to the airfield are conducted at your own risk. No charge for coming to the airfield today, but donations to the “Friends of Lavenham  Airfield (FOLA)” Memorial Project will be much appreciated.




1300           Plaque Rededication Ceremony – Control Tower

Address will be given by Lt.Col. Ronlad R. Ragon, Ch, USAF Wing Chaplin, from RAF Mildenhall,


1330          Flypast – Lavenham Airfield


1345          From Beet to Bombers


1430          Informal Airfield Walk


1600          Airfield will close.