About us

OUR BRANCH, OUR HISTORY

Our Branch of the RAF Association is located at the very southern end of Greater London and is based on the historic Kenley Battle of Britain airfield.   We have more than 350 members including serving members of the RAF, RAF veterans and supporters from the local community and beyond.

Kenley airfield is still owned by the MoD and is an active airfield, being home to 615 Volunteer Gliding Squadron and to Surrey Hills Gliding Club.  Whilst the primary aim of any RAF Association Branch is to provide friendship, help and support to the wider RAF family we are also committed to keeping alive the history of RAF Kenley and those who lived, worked and died there.

One of our veterans, Ken Raffield, has invested a great deal of time, energy and effort in building a comprehensive archive of historic materials representing Kenley’s one hundred years of history.  This is housed in our home in the Portcullis Club, the oldest remaining RAF building on the airfield.

If you’d like a guided tour of the archive we’d be very pleased to arrange this and, at the same time, to show you around what has been described as the most complete surviving Battle of Britain airfield. Contact our Chairman at david.meanwell@kenley-rafa.org.uk for more information.

At the beginning of the Second World War, a special plot (the ‘Airman’s Corner’) was set aside in the local churchyard of St. Luke’s Parish Church, Whyteleafe, for the burial of airmen from RAF Kenley who were killed in air battles, or who died on other operational duties. The churchyard contains 38 Second World War burials, most of them in the plot, but there are a few privately owned war graves elsewhere in the churchyard, together with five war burials from the First World War. The war graves plot also contains six post-war service burials and the graves of two Polish airmen.

Within a few miles of Kenley are two other Battle of Britain airfields; Biggin Hill, home of St. George’s RAF Chapel, and Redhill.  Whlst little of it remains, nearby Croydon Airport was also a fighter base during the Battle of Britain and throughout World War 2.

As mentioned above, 615 Volunteer Gliding Squadron is based at RAF Kenley and through them, and the local Air Training Corps squadrons, the Branch maintains strong links with today’s Royal Air Force.

To find out what we’re up to take a look at our events page.

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