Oxford

WW1 memorial: Port Meadow stone marks men killed near airfield

Wolvercote WW1 Aerodrome Memorial
Image caption Eleven planes crashed on or near Port Meadow during World War One

A memorial stone has been erected to remember seventeen airmen who died in crashes and accidents during World War One.

It stands on Port Meadow, near Oxford, which used for training by the Royal Flying Corp.

The majority of the men died close to the airfield and two were killed near Ascot.

A replica World War One biplane was on display as it was unveiled following a community project to secure a monument.

Port Meadow, in Wolvercote, was primarily used for training in World War One and a number of squadrons were based there between 1916 and 1919.

It is an ancient grazing area and livestock had to be moved away at 04:00 each morning before flights could start.

Image caption A replica Bristol Scout biplane was on display as the monument was unveiled

Aviation during World War One was dangerous and many airman were killed in accidents which did not involve contact with enemy forces.

Eleven planes crashed on or near the meadow between March 1917 and November 1918, with the loss of 15 lives.

Two other men who died on an official flight from Port Meadow that came down near Ascot are also commemorated on the monument.

The aerodrome at Port Meadow was closed in 1919 and a community team has worked for more than three years to secure the permanent memorial.

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