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RNAS Anthorn, HMS Nuthatch - Proposal for a Memorial

Published: 12 Feb 2017

The Anthorn Community Association proposes to set up a memorial to personnel and families who served at the Royal Naval Air Station Anthorn, HMS Nuthatch, on the grassed triangle in front of the original main airfield gate, using a local “Erratic” stone, (rather than the bland airfield marker stone installed at some local RAF sites).

It would have some similarity to that at Maelmin, RAF Millfield (Northumberland).


Solway House Airfield betwixt Anthorn and Cardurnock was initiated by the Royal Naval Air Service in early 1918 but lapsed after WW1 and the amalgamation of the RNAS and RFC to become the RAF. At the start of WW2 the RAF restarted the grass airfield site as a satellite to RAF Silloth. The Fleet Air Arm commenced lodging here in 1940 and fully took over the site in 1942. Subsequent to completion of the 3 hardened runways, RNAS Anthorn was commissioned as HMS Nuthatch in 1944. It was primarily the base for No.1 Aircraft Receipt and Despatch Unit, taking aircraft from manufacturers and preparing them for service by fitting role equipment, radios, guns etc. Various Naval Air Squadrons operated from here as well as one of the first helicopter Search and Rescue units.

The Air Station shut down in late 1957, decommissioned and put to “Care and Maintenance” in early 1958, subsequently the MOD/NATO VLF Radio installation commenced in 1961 becoming operational in 1964.


A brief history of Anthorn village and the former RNAS site is attached.

Contributions of stories, photo’s and/or memorabilia would be appreciated, especially from those who were based or worked at the Air Station (or their descendants).

Project leader on behalf of the Anthorn Community Association is:

LtCdr H Parker MSc RN Rtd tel: 016973 51459


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