Commemorative stone laid in Shinfield to mark former RAF HQBy Laura Herbert
January 25, 2013
A commemorative stone has been unveiled in Shinfield to mark the former site of the headquarters of the Royal Air Force (RAF) Flying Training Command.
Wokingham borough mayor Councillor Bob Wyatt unveiled the stone outside The Lodge in Shinfield Park last Wednesday alongside Cllr Angus Ross, a former RAF officer, past and present RAF staff and pupils from Shinfield St Mary’s Junior School.
The Lodge is a listed building and was the headquarters between 1940 and 1968, but has been restored and is now a private house. The remainder of the site has been developed with more than 300 homes built.
Following the unveiling, one of borough’s 60 commemorative Diamond Jubilee oak trees had its plaque revealed.
Air Vice-Marshal Barry Newton, who served at the headquarters in the 1960s, addressed the guests and Rev Maurice Stanton Saringer and Rev Vernon Orr blessed the stone and tree.
The RAF Flying Training Command was responsible for organising the training of all aircrew during and after the Second World War. Airfields for training were in Woodley, Henley, White Waltham, Smiths Lawn and Theale.
Cllr Ross, executive member for environment, said: “I was delighted at the number and diversity of people who attended the unveiling of the commemorative stone and Diamond Jubilee oak tree.
“The children from Shinfield St Mary’s Junior School and residents who attended can now better understand and appreciate the history of the site and ensure the memory is kept alive for many years to come.”