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History Section - What’s in this Section

Local History

Airfield History - WW1 and Earlier

You can read a detailed history of East Boldre, by Jude James, from the dissolution of Beaulieu Abbey in 1538, through the time it became a separate parish in 1839 to the present date, by clicking here.

Before WW1 East Boldre was the site of the second flying school in the UK. During WW1 the site was taken over by the Royal Flying Corps and developed into a large Training Station for the military. You can read its story here.

Airfield History - WW2-1960s

Timelines for East Boldre

One wartime airfield on Bagshot Moor for a small rural village is quite something but during WW2 a massive three-runway airfield was built in the parish on Beaulieu Heath.  Read about it here.

After the war it was used as a parachute training school and it remained active into the 1960s during the Cold War. Read more.

Since East Boldre played its part in two world wars, we have constructed timeline showing the key events in each war and hilighted East Boldre’s contribution. WW1 Timeline.  WW2 Timeline.

Flying School Centenary Celebrations

The Beaulieu Letters

In 2010 the village celebrated the centenary of the New Forest Aviation School. It was a spectacular event which is documented here and there is a slide show of the event here.

Some local people have never seen them but the word ‘BEAULIEU’ is carved into the heath in letters 4.5 metres (15 feet) high, making the whole word spread over 33.5 metres (110 feet). Recently, we turned out to restore them. It was featured on a BBC TV programme and you can read about it and view a slide show here.

War Memorials

Flying School Fatalities

There are three war memorials and twenty-one war graves in the Parish of East Boldre. We are attempting to build the biographies of everyone mentioned thereon. Read about the location of the memorials here, the war graves here and the names on the memorials here.

In this section we are building a list of photos and biographies of the airmen that died in East Boldre. A variety of sources suggest that at least forty-one airmen died in flying accidents at East Boldre and another drowned while swimming in Hatchet Pond. Nineteen of these are buried in St. Paul’s Churchyard.

WW1 Roll of Honour

Family Trees

The Roll of Honour for Beaulieu and Beaulieu Rails (the old name for East Boldre) is kept at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. You can see images of it here and read a transcript of the names.

If you are building your family tree and you need some local information about an ancestor you have traced to this area, let’s see if we can help you on our Family Trees Page.

East Boldre Oral History Project

Listen to the oral histories of well know local residents who have lived in East Boldre for most of their lives.

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More information can be found on the FONFA website.

Click here for Free Guides to Visiting the New Forest World War 2 Airfields, available on the New Forest World War 2 Airfields website,

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