Memories and Reflections of RAF Warmwell

As a website dedicated to the memory of RAF Warmwell, it would seem inevitable that we would receive some notes and maybe a letter / email or two with memories and reflections about the station or people involved with RAF Warmwell in some way or another.

One such story is the Anatomy of a Dogfight and that came in from Kent Goodrich – a member of the P–38 National Association

We received another story from Adrian Smith

“Hello – Just wanted to share a story with you.

My mother, Minnie (Anslow) Smith, was a member of the RAF Motor Transport Division during the war and for a time was stationed at Warmwell. She recently passed after 84 years. She was the youngest of five and last February all 10 children of these five held a memorial celebration in their honor.

In the process of staying at a B&B in Colyford, Devon, I learned of your website and am ever grateful for your efforts to keep and write the history of Warmwell. Your book is simply excellent.

Warmwell plays a particular role in the history of my family.My father, Harry Smith, now 87, was a Corporal clerk/stenographer in the RCAF, wing 127, squadron 443. It had 18 aircraft – 9 high flying Spitfires and 9 low flying.

In late 1944 they were stationed in Brussels. Starting in October, their squadrons were sent one at a time to Warmwell to have a new gunsight installed on the windshield. Apparently there were no appropriate tools in the field to do the work and sending them to Warmwell was the best option.

Coincidentally my father had planned to have dinner with a local family in Malmedy in mid December but at the last minute was notified that their squadron was headed back to Warmwell for the gunsight retrofitting. As the fortunes of war go, he was lucky not to go to that dinner as Malmedy was a major part of the Battle of the Bulge where both soldiers and locals were brutally murdered.

Meanwhile back at Warmwell my father met my mother during his stay there. The stay was extended due to bad weather and my father had Christmas dinner with my mother and her family instead. He returned to Brussels from Warmwell in early Jan.’45 and my parents were married AFTER the war that year (Aug.19,1945). (My mother REFUSED to be a war bride!)

They later came to Canada to start their family and mum’s passing came only 4 months before their 60th anniversary. Although I would have loved to, we did not have time to visit Warmwell last February; however, it gives us another reason to take another trip back to England.

Thankyou for all of your efforts to keep alive the dreams and work of a great generation.
Sincerely,
Adrian Smith

PS… By the way, my mother met her best friend, Rosemary Anslow. (Do not know her maiden name but can find out) at Warmwell. She introduced Roz to her brother Jim and they too were married after the war. My Uncle Jim passed on in 1986 but Roz, now 83, still lives in Margate and we all remain close. She too has fond memories of her Warmwell days. So Warmwell truly was a big part of our early families.”


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