Melksham Without Parish Council

         

Brief History of Bowerhill

Bowerhill village grew up around the old Melksham RAF Station. The whole area was rural until early in 1940 when building work began on the new RAF station. In July the RAF School of Instrument Training moved here from Cranwell and later a branch of the RAF Armament School also moved here. In the following years other courses were run and in 1942 the Armament School moved out and was replaced by the RAF Electrical School from Hereford. Much specialised training was undertaken at RAF Melksham with not only RAF personnel but Polish, Free French and American members of the Allied Air Forces.

Towards the end of the Second World War a large number of Royal Naval Air Service Mechanics were trained here and many transport drivers also received instruction. From the end of the war Melksham resumed its role in Electrical and Instrument courses and continued with this and other education programmes until the early 1970s. The station was then decommissioned and used for a mixture of industrial, commercial and residential use, with much development in the 1980s. A few years ago, an RAF Melksham Committee was formed to “call up” past servicemen and women from all over the world to write in with past experiences. The Parish Council in liaison with the RAF Melksham Committee, to honour the old RAF Station erected the memorial stone outside the Christie Miller. In 2006 the stone was badly damaged in a hit and run accident. A new stone has been made and this is sited outside the ATC Hut. A special RAF Commerative Service was held for this event.

Today one of the main hangars still exists to house the Christie Miller Sports Centre in Lancaster Road.


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