Elsham Wolds is the name given to a wide plateau rising steeply to the north of the village of Elsham, in North Lincolnshire. The area is now mainly occupied by an industrial estate and bisected by the A15 Trunk Road, leading north to the Humber Bridge.

Although only actively associated with aviation during the two World Wars in the first half of the twentieth century, this legacy is reflected by the Squadron crests that appear on street signs in the nearby village. In remembering that history, one also recalls the hundreds involved during those years of frenetic activity and the thousands of other lives affected by it.

For ease of reference, these times are summarised on separate pages dedicated to the Staion and the two 1940s RAF Units most closely associated with it, using the links below: -

Airfield History         103 Squadron         576 Squadron


To mark the opening of the World War Two airfield, in 1941, here are specially
written extracts from our Newsletter, about the first weeks and present day
reminders around the site, followed by some more general info, below:

Elsham Wolds: The Early Days

Airfield Facts and Figures

Between 1935 and the end of World War II, the number of UK military airfields increased twelve-fold: from 60 to 720

This airfield construction programme was described by ‘The Aeroplane’ magazine as, “one vast aircraft carrier anchored off the north-west coast of Europe”.

One million prefabricated buildings were erected, including those on related sites, such as depots and training establishments.

Larger airfields each cost £500,000, on average (excluding buildings). Equivalent to £22 million, today.

One Government Minister* compared the total area of concrete laid in runways, perimeter tracks and dispersals, to a 9,000 mile (14,500km) long, 30 foot (9m) wide road from London to Bejing.

It is estimated the aggregate used in the concrete (excluding cement) weighed 30m tons – enough to fill a convoy of trucks stretching 1½ times around the Equator.

*The Secretary of State for Air in the coalition government, Sir Archibald Sinclair

[Information from Historic England Report: "Nine Thousand Miles of Concrete", January 2016 Version]

Further Content Will be Added as it is Developed