|The Ridgewell Airfield Commemorative Association|
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The Association for Second World War Ridgewell Airfield, Station 167
Home of 90 Squadron RAF and 381st Bomb Group USAF
The Association maintains a museum in the original hospital buildings.
LOCATION: through the entrance to 'Cedars' on the right of the Ridgewell Road leaving Great Yeldham. (Past No 28).
OPEN DAYS: On the Second Sunday of each month, April to September, 11.00 am to 5.00pm.
On other days by prior arrangementment
For a detailed history of the airfield during the war years with a map of the airfield at the time visit the web site below.
Jim Tennet. Tel 01787 277310 (evenings).
|Remarks by Edith Goodchild at the Memorial Service to the 381st Bomb Group,
held at the American Cemetery, Cambridge, England, 27 August 1982.
Drawn from "The Mighty Men of the 381st: Heroes All"
|"Edith Goodchild spoke for the town of Great Yeldham. She is the daughter of the Honorable George Goodchild who, during the war,
lived at Great Yeldham Hall in Great Yeldham. Their home was "open house" for all the members of the 381st Bomb Group while stationed at
In her remarks she immediately won the hearts of the entire assembly as she recalled the days when the English and the Americans lived together so closely during the war. They were brought into a unity which is indescribable. She spoke of how the villages around the base were so quiet before the Americans arrived. All the British young men had gone off to war; even the girls were in the armed services. Her only brother had been killed in the war -- a tragic loss to the Goodchild household, he was to carry on the Goodchild name and to occupy Great Yeldham Hall.
The village was so deathly quiet - no young men at all. Then -- the Americans came. We had someone to talk to. They brought a degree of brightness to the community. The Americans were so happy in their nature. Our spirits were lifted up. The American boys visited our homes. They ate dinners at our tables. They attended our churches. They mingled with us in the pubs. They became our friends, taking the places of our sons, brothers and uncles who were abroad in the war. I speak not of boy/girl relationships but of the ordinary family relationships.
You, the members of the 381st Bomb Group came and filled this gap. How grateful we are, the citizens of Great Britain! We owe you so much for helping us to retain our freedom. It was lovely having you here. It was a pity it wasn't longer. D-Day finally came, and you, and together we were so happy. You had freed us. We can never fully repay you. Then you left us, and our villages became so quiet.
Now you have returned and we welcome you with open arms and warm hearts. We open our homes to you and wish you could stay for many days. The beautiful marble monument which you have placed on the old Ridgewell Aerodrome will stand for ages as a Memorial to the men who lost their lives from the 381st Bomb Group during the war. It will also stand as a sign and bond of unity between Great Britain and America - a magnificent sign of our eternal friendship."
To find a copy go to our contacts page and click on a bookseller's site. There were several copies listed in Jan 2006, mostly of the second edition.
|Great Yeldham Village web site|