Memories of RAF Elvington



Memories of RAF Elvington


Posted to motor transport section of 77 Squadron at RAF Elvington in November 1942. Writes of duties, location and social activities. Mentions commanders and feeling part of the squadron. Posted to RAF Sandtoft in 1944. Gives dates of service June 1942 to October 1945. Mentioned in dispatches January 1945.


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Memories of R.A.F. Elvington from,
Jill Ethel Kathleen Nicholls. W.A.A.F. (Cpl)
I was posted to 77 SQD M.T. Section R.A.F. Elvington from Middleton-St. George near Darlington, arriving on a very cold November day in 1942. W.A.A.F. quarters were not completed at that time, and we were billeted in a nissen hut some distance from the Camp.
Initally, [sic] the M.T. Section was situated in an old farm house on the Aerodrome. I was detailed to drive a 30 cwt. Bedford for the W.T. Section. We did of course have other driving duties from crew coaches to tractors but mainly I stayed with the W.T during my Service at Elvington.
There was quite a lot of social life on Camp e.g. film shows, musical evenings, local and E,N,S,A, [sic] concerts, Mess parties and of course the liberty bus to York. Betty’s Bar was much frequented by the R.A.F in those days and the local pub at Elvington was also popular. We all had bicycles so could attend dances in the surrounding villages. Looking through the first camp magazine to be published 15/9/43 called D.G., it is quite surprising to find just how many social activities were available. Group Capt S.S. Bertram D.F.C. was C.O when the first D.G. was published. Later, Wing Commander L. Lowe M.B.E. D.F.C. was Squadron C.O.
Working closely with Air and Ground crews, one felt very much a part of the every day happenings in the Squadron, every crew lost was a personal loss. Forty five years on, memories fade, but the sight and sound of the Halifaxes taking off on ops, waiting with a coach at a dispersal point in the early hours of the morning listening for the sound of the first arrivals home and the joy when they all returned, that is something that will always remain in my mind. I’m sure Ann, Lesley, Kay, Betty, Sylvia, Helen and many other M.T. girls will know what I mean.
In 1944 I was posted to R.A.F. Sandtoft, before the arrival of the Free French. Those of us who had to leave the Squadron were sad indeed, but for my part I am very proud to have been a small part of the Elvington scene during the war and to have had the privilege of meeting and working with so many wonderfully courageous people. On a visit to Elvington some years ago, the old Farm House was still standing. On a later visit it had been demolished. To me, during those war torn years, somehow, it had been ‘Forever England.’
I joined the W.A.A.F. in June 1942 and was released in Oct. 1945
Mentioned in despatches January 1945


JEK Nicholls, “Memories of RAF Elvington,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 19, 2024,

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