Britain's first airfield

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Fambridge was the site of Britain's first airfield. In 1909, Mr Pemberton Billings set up a flying colony, which attracted hundreds of enthusiasts, although none actually managed to get off the ground.

Shortly after its opening, Billings was forced to admit that he'd been defeated by the soggy Essex soil.

In 1914, an attempt by Talbot White Quick to build a seaplane also failed.

The airfield Commemoration Stone was unveiled in 2009.


The Echo carried this article in February 2009

The above Echo link is now broken. Here is a copy of the Echo article from the internet archive  (Wayback Machine). 

Here is another link to Airfield Information Exchange

This link is also broken. I'll try to fix it later today, 04/07/19. Bob Stephen

This page was added by Helen Barnard on 16/03/2011.
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I have just come across this thread when researching about Fambridge Airfield. I have seen the enquiry from Sandra Harris. I have got the records she was asking about. If you can pass my e mail address to her I would be happy to help.


Eric Simonelli

By Eric Simonelli
On 14/08/2019

Hi Sandra. We don't have any further information about your enquiry as we are purely an information exchange website. Might be worth you having a look at the website given on the Fambridge memorial stone -

Regards Bob Stephen (RDCA-Admin)

By Bob Stephen
On 04/07/2019

I am doing some research for my South African nephew and have just found out he was a pilot at RFC/RAF Rochford in the 1st World War. He was South African and came over to fight for this country.

His name was Maurice Fitzgerald S Burger Service number 176570, DOB 11th June 1896 Cradock, S Africa Service date 4th June 1918.

Do you have any records or photographs of this period? 

Or could you recommend any other sources.

Thank you for your help in anticipation. 

Sandra Harris

By Sandra Harris
On 04/07/2019

On June 20th 1936 a biplane crashed into trees over Ashingdon church. Are there any photos of this event and who was the pilot?

By Peter Frier
On 03/05/2018

Some fields do not connect.

By Peter Frier
On 29/04/2018
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