Thursday, April 16, 2015

WWI Hainault Pilots Remembered

An event to commemorate Fairlop at War was held on Saturday last (11th April) at Fairlop Waters Country Park, the site of airfields during both the 1914-18 and the 1939-45 World Wars.

2015 is the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden, Germany, and there is a Fairlop connection. In WW1 Major Arthur Harris was Station Commander at the airfield at Hainault Farm. In WW2 he was known as Bomber Harris and was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief RAF Bomber Command at the time of the bombing of Dresden.

To mark the occasion as a symbol of reconciliation Redbridge resident former Flight Sergeant Max Bean of 115 Squadron Bomber Command met with Hans Haenlein of Dresden in the presence of the Deputy Mayor of Redbridge, Councillor Linda Huggett, and members of the Fairlop Heritage Group. Hans was presented with a Coventry Cross of Nails.

Coventry Cross of Nails on the Fairlop Memorial (Photo Credit David Martin)

Flying for the first time at Fairlop on Saturday was the flag of the Royal Flying Corps, who had their first encounter with Zeppelins in October 1915. The flag was hand-made by Barbara Martin for the occasion.

The flag on the right is that of the Royal Flying Corps
which was flown for the first time at the Fairlop at War event.
(Photo credit Ron Jeffries)

Said David Martin, Chairman, Fairlop Heritage Group: “Saturday was a peaceful way to celebrate reconciliation as the end of conflict. We are grateful to the staff of Fairlop Waters and to Lakeview Marquee and to Redbridge Museum for the loan of displays of Redbridge in WW1 and to Hans, Max and the Deputy Mayor for joining us.”

(From left to right) Hans Haenlein, Flight Sergeant Max Bean, David Martin, Linda Huggett, 
Deputy Mayor, and Mr Huggett, Deputy Mayor’s Consort. (Photo Credit Ron Jeffries) 


  1. Looking for information on a pilot Fredrick Poulton Whittaker who crashed in 1918 I believe whilst flying from RAF Hainault.

  2. 2/Lt Frederick Poulton Whittaker age 21 died 25 October 1918 and served with 54 Training Depot Station, then at Forest Farm (Fairlop), formerly of 8 Bn Manchester Regiment.
    I have no record/proof that he died at Forest Farm.
    He is buried in Blackpool (Layton) Cemetery.
    Visit: to view existing records and my contact details, should you wish to contact me directly. David Martin