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Author Topic: RFC Throwley - Forgotten Former WW1 Home Defence airfield  (Read 10226 times)

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Re: RFC Throwley - Forgotten Former WW1 Home Defence airfield
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2016, 07:46:43 »
Oooops ! . . . that's embarrassing  :)

Thanks for the correction there, HERB COLLECTOR. I was starting to get excited too. I'm actualy writing this on a train en route to the RAF Museum at Hendon, so I'll have a go at looking up the correct information.

The restoration of our Pup is moving forward very slowly as we are unsponsored and having to use our own funds. Essentially the airframe is almost complete with fittings and internal bracing wires in the wings being an issue at the moment. We have an engine but it needs a complete rebuild to get it to the standard we need, which is a project in itself.

We have been suffering from not having a suitable place to do the work but that was resolved a couple of months ago, so progress is still slow but now unimpeded. We showed the Pup last year at a National Trust house called Tyntesfield, there are pictures of it there on this site:

They will give you some idea of its' current state.

Once again many thanks for the update.



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Re: RFC Throwley - Forgotten Former WW1 Home Defence airfield
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2016, 23:03:13 »
Thanks, but I have made no reference to Sopwith Pup C312. The number C312 does pop up but this was a typo and should read C3182 and refers to a BE12 based at Bekesbourne.
As far as I know Sopwith Pup C312 did not serve at Throwley.

How is the restoration coming along?
Other members can find some photos @


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Re: RFC Throwley - Forgotten Former WW1 Home Defence airfield
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2016, 18:05:56 »
This is fascinating.

I am part of a team restoring a 1917 Standard Motors built Sopwith Pup B1807/G-EAVX which was stationed at Throwley with 112 Squadron. I was searching around the internet and found this site with the brilliant information from Herb Collector.

What has prompted my addition to the messages, is the apparently amazing coincidence contained in the information in this thread.

To explain:

Our aircraft survived the First War serving with several Home Defence units and in 1919, was sent for disposal to Croydon with the Aircraft Disposal Company. That year two RAF pilots were forced down at Croydon, whilst on a cross country training flight. Whilst there, they decided to buy a Sopwith Pup each. Ours (B1807 which became G-EAVX) and another coded C312, which became G-EAVW.

This second aircraft is listed on your site as being on 50 Sqn strength at Throwley, at the same time ours was there with 112 Sqn.

Both aircraft were taken to RAF Andover in 1919, refurbished and used by the owners as runabouts. Our aircraft was last seen in 1921 in the Aerial Derby at Hendon, where it was ground looped by the pilot. It appears in a Pathe News film of the event, which can be found here: at 00:46.

We have no firm idea about what happened to C312 (G-EAVW), but we think it may have been destroyed at Hendon in 1923.

I find it fascinating that these two aircraft not only served together at Throwley, but by sheer chance ended up civilianised together after the Great War too.

Thanks for your patience,



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Re: RFC Throwley - Forgotten Former WW1 Home Defence airfield
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2015, 01:12:01 »
A visitor to Throwley.
A night fighting Sopwith Camel of No. 51 Squadron RFC/RAF, based at Mattishall in Norfolk.
The guns have been moved from on top of the nose to the top wing to prevent the pilot from being temporarily blinded by the guns muzzle flash. National markings have been overpainted on the rear fuselage and rudder. The white areas of the top wing roundels have been painted over. The streamers on the rudder and outer wing struts denote that the aircraft is that of a flight commander.
Captain G S M Insall VC. joined 51 Squadron on 11 January 1918 and was made "A" Flight Commander.

IWM (Q 57659)
Sopwith F.1 Camel (Home Defence version)
Single seater fighter, twin Lewis guns on upper centre-section, in place of the normal fixed twin Vickers guns. Captain G. S. M. Insall VC. No. 51 Squadron, Throwley.


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Re: RFC Throwley - Forgotten Former WW1 Home Defence airfield
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2012, 23:25:19 »
RFC/RAF Throwley, 1916-1919.
Home Defence airfield 800 yards long by 500 yards wide, covering some 87 acres, 400 ft above sea level. Just south of Throwley Forstal, between Dodds Willows wood (in the centre of Trikeman's photo) and Bells Forstal (bottom right).
Work on the airfield started in October 1916. The airfield was transferred to the Ministry of Munitions in October 1919. A little later it was cleared and returned to agriculture.
From July 1940, Cadmans farm, more or less the same place, was used as an emergency landing ground for Detling.

RFC/RAF squadrons based at Throwley.

50 Squadron
Formed Dover May 1916. B flight based at Throwley from February? 1917 to 30 July 1917, when it was expanded to form 112 Squadron.
Aircraft types flown while at Throwley.
Armstrong Whitworth FK8
Royal Aircraft Factory BE12/12A
For more details see; 50 Squadron @

112 Squadron
Formed 30 July 1917. Based solely at Throwley until disbanded in June 1919.
Aircraft types flown.
Sopwith Pup
Major Brand scored the airfields sole aerial victory 19/20 May 1918.
For more details see; 112 Squadron @

143 Squadron
Formed Throwley 1 February 1918, moving to Detling March 1918.
Aircraft flown while at Throwley.
Armstrong Whitworth FK8
For more details see; 143 Squadron @

188 Squadron
Formed 20 December 1917. Night flying training squadron based solely at Throwley until disbanded 1 March 1919.
Aircraft types used.
Avro 504K
Sopwith Pup

The Air Defence of Britain 1914-1918, Cole and Cheesman.
Action Stations 9, C Ashworth.
Kents Forgotten Airfield. Throwley 1917-1919.
Anthony J. Moor. Tempus Publishing Limited 2007. ISBN 978 0 7524 4269 3, RRP 12.99.
128 pages, text, 93 black/white photos, maps, drawings.
A good well illustrated history of this short lived airfield.
The photos are most interesting, showing the buildings, aircraft and men. There are 12 photos of the airfield remains taken c2007, and two shots of the hanger roof trusses being moved to West Street Sittingbourne, to serve as part of a garage owned by a Mr W.J. Pullen, the building now sadly long gone.
A few criticisms. (I should explain that I sometimes make models of aircraft, so I study photos more closely than most people. Thats my excuse anyway :))
The author seems unaware of the subtleties of the Sopwith Camel. The fabric panel in the photos on pages 31/32 is not ripped. This partictular panel was designed to be unlaced to allow access to the interior of the rear fuselage.
The photo on the back cover is of a 'Comic' night fighting Camel conversion. The Vickers machine guns were removed from atop the nose and replaced by two Lewis guns mounted on the top wing centre section. The guns could be fired forward or pulled back to fire upwards. The cockpit was moved back to allow the pilot to fire and reload the guns. Relatively few saw squadron service. The photo was not taken at Throwley and, as far as I know, the 'Comic' was not used there, 112 squadron using the standard Camel.
Not noted is the fact that the drawing on page 119 is taken from a model making magazine. Readers will be confused by references to plastic card control horns and elevator controls made from sprue!
The number of the Gotha brought down by Major Brand is unknown, as the aircraft was burnt out in the crash. It was not Gotha 979 as stated in the book, this crashed at Frinstead on the same night.

Offline Trikeman

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Re: RFC Throwley - Forgotten Former WW1 Home Defence airfield
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 18:21:28 »
Here's a recent picture of Throwley airfield. The hangars and buildings were mostly on the edge of the woods. As with most of these old WW1 airfields, they used large existing fields - usually square/rectangular so they could always land into wind - which simply returned to agriculture after the war. Wye, Throwley, Bekesbourne, Walmer all fall into this catagory. Anthony J Moor recently produced a superb book on the subject with lots of pics and plans.

Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast

Offline kyn

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Re: RFC Throwley - Forgotten Former WW1 Home Defence airfield
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 17:58:30 »
I would be interested in seeing the remains  :)

neil clark

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RFC Throwley - Forgotten Former WW1 Home Defence airfield
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 15:52:56 »
Another negelcted former WW1 Kent Royal Flying Corps airfield is RFC THROWLEY.

Again I have managed to amass some data but not much really considering it's importance during the Great War in terms of Home Defence.

I possess a number of photographs of the airfield remains for those interested. I will try to work out how to post them here on this thread...


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