Comrades meet again up at Danby Beacon

Danby Beacon reunion''Eric Hampton and Rowley Bailey with a book donated to the Danby Moors Centre contatining old photos and information about Danby Beacon''Picture: Ceri Oakes
Danby Beacon reunion''Eric Hampton and Rowley Bailey with a book donated to the Danby Moors Centre contatining old photos and information about Danby Beacon''Picture: Ceri Oakes
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THE few remaining comrades who were stationed together at RAF Danby Beacon met up again for a reunion.

It was organised by Eric Hampson who served in the RAF police at the World War Two early warning radar site from 1955 to 1957.

Danby Beacon reunion''Not in order: Joe Brown, John Ledbetter, Dom Williamson, Neville Nicholson, Roy Fox and Charles Litt approching the Danby Moors Centre for a reunion''Picture: Ceri Oakes

Danby Beacon reunion''Not in order: Joe Brown, John Ledbetter, Dom Williamson, Neville Nicholson, Roy Fox and Charles Litt approching the Danby Moors Centre for a reunion''Picture: Ceri Oakes

Mr Hampson said: “I only managed to contact seven former personnel who were at Danby but we would welcome anyone else who served or had connections there.

“Like me, they are all people who were there after the war and as far as I know there are only two people still alive who were there during the war. They are Elaine Douglas and Ken Taylor but there maybe others.

“An account of the wartime history of the site from 1939 to 1945 is available on request from the Danby National Park Moors Centre.

“I saw one of the radar station’s four metal towers pulled down and there were also four wooden ones. They were all sold off and I believe that the wooden ones ended up at the back of Champion’s garage in Castleton.”

The radar station was one of a chain built in the 1930s immediately before WW2 to track enemy aircraft.

The Danby station tracked the first enemy plane to be shot down over England.

It was brought down by Group Captain Peter Townsend who later became well-known for a romantic affair with the present Queen Elizabeth’s sister, the late Princess Margaret. They were not allowed to marry because he had been divorced.

Little now remains of the huge radar station complex except a memorial plaque but the history of the site dates back to the sixteenth century, when the country was threatened by the Spanish Armada, and possibly even earlier.

During the Napoleonic wars it was a look-out point to give warning of an invasion fleet when a former soldier and his wife lived in a stone hut to watch for any enemy ships.

The re-union, which is an annual event, was held at Danby Moors Centre on 6 July.