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Royal Air Force Beach Units

The 'Rafadrome'

This newspaper clipping from July 1944 has been preserved by John Fenton, a Sergeant in No. 4 R.A.F. Beach Squadron at the time, who recalls:

Within a few weeks (of D-Day), a huge old barn had been converted into an R.A.F. Theatre and we saw our first overseas R.A.F. Gang Show. It was terrific. Part of the second half was recorded and broadcast by the BBC. A few days later, George Formby and his wife, Beryl, put on another excellent show for us.”

The Rafadrome Barn in June 2010

The barn in which the Rafadrome was created is an ancient tithe barn. The barn and farmyard are located at Crépon on the corner of Route de Ver and Rue du Bout Bayeux. When approaching Crepon from Ver sur Mer on the D112 road the barn is the first building across the fields - a long barn with buttressed walls.

The Rafadrome Barn in June 2010
The Rafadrome Barn in June 2010


George Formby at the Rafadrome Theatre

© IWM (CL 543)

© IWM (CL 543)

George Formby gives an impromptu show to a group of airmen from an R.A.F. Beach Squadron during a visit with his ENSA party to a farmyard theatre at Crépon, Normandy, to entertain the troops.

(photo taken 26th July 1944 by Pilot Officer Saidman, Royal Air Force official photographer)


A Performance at the Rafadrome Theatre

© IWM (CL 589)

© IWM (CL 589)

An R.A.F. band puts on a show at the "Rafadrome Theatre" in Crépon, Normandy. Officers and men of No. 4 Beach Squadron R.A.F. converted the empty barn into an entertainment venue, building a stage on tree trunks and making the curtains from balloon fabric. The seating for 500 was made from wooden planks resting on empty 'compo' ration boxes.

(photo taken 27th July 1944 by Pilot Officer Saidman, Royal Air Force official photographer)


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Copyright  © J.M.Fenton, 2007-2019

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