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The History of Lasham

The village and airfield nowadays commonly bear the name "Lash-am," although until recently, the local populace predominantly referred to it as "Lass-ham." The origins of the village trace back to the 11th century when it was initially termed "Esseham," evolving into "Lessham" shortly thereafter. 

Lasham Airfield

The airfield's construction was undertaken by Irish laborers and Italian prisoners of war. This development led to the removal of a significant portion of the beech tree avenue, planted in 1809 by George Purefoy Jervoise of Herriard Park, intended to commemorate the Jubilee of George III in 1810. Capturing the scene, Thomas Hennell created a painting of The Avenue, which constitutes one of around 1500 artworks produced by numerous artists in the early stages of the war as part of the Recording Britain project, sponsored by the Pilgrim Trust. Currently, this painting of the avenue finds its home in the Victoria & Albert Museum.


The construction of the airfield concluded in 1942, and it hosted a variety of aircraft types during World War Two. Among the squadrons stationed at Lasham between 1942 and 1944 were:

  • 33 Squadron: Equipped with Spitfires.

  • 107 Squadron: Operated Boston and Mosquito aircraft.

  • 175 Squadron: Flew Hurricane and Typhoon aircraft.

  • 181 Squadron: Operated Typhoon aircraft.

  • 182 Squadron: Also operated Typhoon aircraft.

  • 183 Squadron: Operated Typhoon aircraft, known as "Gold Coast."

  • 239 Squadron: Equipped with Mustang aircraft.

  • 305 Squadron: Operated Mitchell and Mosquito aircraft under the PAF designation.

  • 320 Squadron: Operated Mitchell RDNA aircraft.

  • 412 Squadron: Equipped with Spitfires, from the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

  • 453 Squadron: Operated Spitfires.

  • 602 Squadron: Operated Spitfires, known as "City of Glasgow."

  • 609 Squadron: Equipped with Typhoon aircraft, known as "West Riding."

  • 613 Squadron: Operated Tiger Moth and Mosquito aircraft, known as "City of Manchester."

Squadron 613

One of the notable and widely recognized missions was carried out by 613 Squadron. On April 14, 1944, Wing Commander Bateson led a group of six Mosquito aircraft in a daring operation to bomb the Central Records Registry of the Gestapo in The Hague. Flying at an extremely low altitude of 50 feet, the precision of the attack resulted in minimal collateral damage to nearby civilian areas.

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