Steeple Morden is a small village in South Cambridgeshire near Royston. The War Memorial just outside the village is dedicated to the airmen who served during World War Two from Royal Air Force Steeple Morden.
Built in 1940, the USAAF and RAF operated from RAF Steeple Morden and the memorial is dedicated to the 355th Fighter Group. It is, as I find with all war memorials, not only a humbling visit, but one that has a type of pride and honour attached to it, recognising the grave sacrifice made by so many for our freedom.
The memorial sits by the side of a quiet road with a lay-by for about three cars maximum, allowing you to park right outside the gates. The site other than the memorial looks no more than a farmers field now but the groundworks for one of the runways is still there (I think), plus a few of the typical semi-circular style buildings you see at old airfields (picture further below). I could be wrong on the buildings though. I’m sure some more knowledgable folks can comment!
At the entrance gate there are some plaques (pictured below – click for more detail) which explain more about the memorial and who served there. It’s nice to stop and read them and take time to absorb the information.
It’s a beautiful memorial and in a peaceful location so it’s nice to come and visit and just spend some time in the fresh air and quiet, occasionally a car comes past to break the silence but it was quite a rare occurrence in fairness.
Pictured below is the memorial from another perspective and you can see the names of the US airman on the left hand side and the Commonwealth airman on the far right hand side who gave their lives in the war effort. The granite block you can see in front of the nosecone assembly is actually taken from the old control tower that was on site! There is a picture further down this post that shows the map view of the old airbase which is on another block just to my left from where I took the photo below. This shows the location of the control tower and all the other elements of the base.
I’d highly recommend visiting if you’re in the area and memorials of this type are your interest. Just be aware there are no toilets on site if you’ve got young children (or you need to go!) but there is a McDonalds at Royston only about ten minutes drive away just off the A505 once you go through the rather nice village of Litlington – just allow for the level crossing before the A505 in case you’re getting desperate!!
This website has some more detailed information of the history of the airbase and the aircraft that flew. Do have a look if this has piqued your interest!
I’ll tag this post as a place of interest and war memorial so do feel free to like and share this post and subscribe to our blog – we’ll be trying our best to unearth gems like this to visit which get so overlooked in every day life and they really shouldn’t. See you next time!