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Rushcliffe Country Park acknowledged for its aviation history

27 February 2019

A plaque has been unveiled acknowledging Rushcliffe Country Park’s role as an airfield during World War One and its aviation history.

An Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust plaque has now been installed on Fowemer Hill at the park, commemorating the land that was used as a landing strip during World War One by No38 Squadron from December 1916 to August 1917.

It was also used after The Great War by a local aircraft owner and local resident Mr Harold Ashworth in 1930 who went on to join the RAF.

He joined as a pilot officer in 1939 and by March 1942 had reached the rank of squadron leader, carrying out sorties involving attacks on Hamburg, Pilsen, Cologne, Mannheim and Essen.

Sadly, on May 4 1942, his aircraft was shot down over the south coast of England while returning from a sortie over northern France.

He was posthumously awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross where it was cited he had shown “immense energy, courage and inspiring leadership”.

Deputy Leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council Cllr Debbie Mason unveiled the plaque with park manager Keith Laing and Country park staff.

She said: “This plaque represents a poignant part of Rushcliffe’s history, playing a role with other local airfields that helped the War effort over a century ago.

“Its links to Mr Ashworth are also fascinating and he was obviously a very courageous man for everything he achieved whilst in service.

“We are proud to now have this plaque in place, commemorating the role this former landing area played in the early 20th century.”

Airfields at Radcliffe-on-Trent and Ruddington were used during World War One by the No38 Squadron. 

For more information about the Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust please visit: www.abct.org.uk