Battle of Britain officers’ mess to be restored

Douglas Bader at Duxford ANL-141223-125820001
Douglas Bader at Duxford ANL-141223-125820001
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The historic Officers’ Mess at IWM Duxford which was used by wartime heroes such as Douglas Bader is to be used as serviced office accommodation.

Planning permission has been granted by South Cambridgeshire District Council.

Alan Stoneman, interim director, IWM Duxford, said: “We are delighted that the Officers’ Mess will enjoy a new lease of life with a change of use that is an appropriate legacy for this historic building’s dynamic past.

“It will be wonderful to see it renovated in a style that embeds its history into its modern-day use. It will be an inspirational setting for its office users.”

The Officers’ Mess at RAF Duxford played host to a number of distinguished guests including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Supermarine test pilot Jeffrey Quill, singer Vera Lynn and Anthony Eden.

Throughout the Battle of Britain, the building played host to renowned Spitfire and Hurricane pilots, including Douglas Bader, who walked its corridors.

In April 1943, the station was officially handed over to the United States Army Air Forces, to become Station 357 of the 8th Air Force.