Combined Operations Badge (embroidered cotton)
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.

There are two photographs relating to the ‘Rafadrome’ that appear in the Imperial War Museum Collections Online:

Photograph No. CL 543 was taken on 26th July 1944 in the farmyard outside the Rafadrome. The official caption for the photo is:
 “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 Crepon, Normandy, to entertain the troops.”

Photograph No. CL 589 was taken on the 27th July 1944 and is a well composed interior shot of the theatre. The caption reads:
 “An R.A.F. band puts on a show at the "Rafadrome Theatre" in Crepon, 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.”


Copyright © J.M.Fenton, 2007-2011

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