Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


R.A.F. Kirkham, 1955.

RAF Kirkham 1940 - 1957

Aircraftmen prepare a Canberra for display on "Open Day" at RAF Kirkham, September, 1955.


RAF Kirkham 1940 - 1957

RAF Kirkham was built by George Wimpey on 220 acres of land bordering the A583 Blackpool to Preston Rd. Work commenced in 1939 and the camp opened in 1940 as a training camp for RAF tradesmen. Up to 1945 it trained 72,000 British and allied service men and women. In November 1941 Kirkham became the main armament training centre for the RAF, with 21 different trades and 86 different courses on equipment and weapons varying from 22 riffles to 75mm guns. Pupils came not only from the commonwealth but USA, Holland, Poland, France, Norway, Czechoslovakia and Belgium. No. 10 School of Technical training were based at the camp from 1950.

Kirkham had 10 hangars as well as its own cinema and hospital.

From May to December 1945 Kirkham became a demob centre. No. 101 Personnel Department Dispersal Centre being based there, releasing air personnel at the rate of 1000 per day. Also based at the camp was the school of Administrative Trades from June to December 1944 and no. 22 Air Crew Holding Unit from June to November 1944.

After the war it trained RAF boy entrants until December 1957 when it closed. In 1962 part of the camp became Kirkham Open Prison. The rest of the land lay derelict, but is now used for agricultural purposes and a nature reserve.