A brief journey through time


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A brief history (According to Rob)

English Civil War
During the English Civil war (1625 - 1649) Ercall Hall owned by the Royalist (Cavaliers), Baron Richard Newport, which by this time was now also a garrison with around 200 troops. It was besieged 3 times by the Parliamentarian (Roundheads) troops. The first caused great damage to the church and took down the drawbridge but the Royalist troops went on the offensive causing the Parliamentarians to retreat. The second siege didn't go well for the Parliamentarian forces either, approximately 900 more Royalist troops had arrived in the mean time, the Parliamentarians did not realise this and were driven back again when those and a further 500 from the garrison countered the attack. The 3rd siege however was decisive, the Hall was bombarded with artillery, Baron Richard Newport arrived with 1000 further men but they were unable to get through, they eventually surrendered on the 27 March 1646.
For those of you with a belief in things supernatural its been said that Roundheads and Cavaliers have been seen around some parts of the Ridgway estate.

World War 1 (1914 - 1919)
Here is a list of those who lost their lives during this war.
And a list of those who served during this war.

World War 2 (1939 - 1945)
Royal Air Force (RAF) High Ercall took over around 300 acres of farmland, the Airfield was constructed in 1940 and finally disbanded in 1964. It had 3 runways :- 11/29 being 1591 yards long, this being the main one, having the Beacon just over the road at 11 end and the Markers at 29 end, 05/23 was 1412 yards long and 17/35 1278 yards.
It was the home from its inception until 1962 to 29 MU set up to handle and store American aircraft at first, although many other Squadrons came and went over its life. The Airfield was bombed in March 1941 but caused only minor damage. Its seems to have been a bit of a hardship for those stationed here as for a time there was no running water, and when there was it froze in winter, there were no toilets on the living sites or roads to them.
Some of the Squadrons and others that were at RAF High Ercall whether permanently or detatched were:

29 Maintenance Unit
306 Sqn, Hurricanes from Tern Hill
13 Sqn, Lysanders from Hooton Park
68 Sqn, Blenheim fighters (later Beaufighters) from Catterick
255 Sqn, Beaufighters
257 Sqn, Hurricanes (later Typhoons)
1456 Flight, Havocs (later 535 Sqn)
309th Fighter Sqn, USAAF, Spitfires
27th Fighter Sqn, 1st Fighter Group, USAAF, P-38F Lightnings
92nd Fighter Sqn, USAAF, P-39 Airacobras (later Spitfires)
247 Sqn, Typhoons
41 Sqn, Spitfires
No 60 Operational Training Unit (OTU), Mosquitoes, Ansons and Oxford
It lastly came under the command of 41 Group with one of its last tasks breaking up aircraft that were no longer needed.

Its my opinion that its this period in time that was the start of the expansion of High Ercall as it is today. The RAF put in the infrastructure, such as the Sewage works that are still situated in the same place today and pipe work for water from the pumping stations/water storage towers, one of which is still situated in Hoo Coppice (that used to supply water to the house I live in, until mains water was eventually put in), with another on the old airfield site.
Pictures here of the Airfield as it is today, and a field map here of RAF High Ercall at the end of the war.
Here is a list of those who lost their lives during this war.

   01 Jan 09

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