East Moor airfield memorial

September 2010

East Moor memorial – detail

At Aldborough, near Boroughbridge, a memorial on the village green remembers a 1944 crash at nearby Studforth Hill. The crew, of 432 squadron, were based at East Moor airfield, here at Sutton-on-the-Forest, north of York – one of several local airfields used by Canadian forces – Tholthorpe was another.

In 1990 a memorial was erected at the end of the main village street. The inscription reads ‘This memorial is dedicated to all who served at East Moor in World War II, many of whom gave their lives, and in gratitude to the people of Yorkshire who welcomed them.’

East Moor memorial East Moor Memorial, Sutton-on-the-Forest

See also: Former airfield: East Moor, Sutton on the Forest

You may also be interested in …

Cover of Chocolate and Chicory: York and beyond, by bicycle

Chocolate and ChicoryBuy now, immediate download from gumroad.com

Chocolate and Chicory: York and beyond, by bicycle. My ebook includes further information on the airfields around York, and mapped cycle routes from York visiting some of them. Chocolate and Chicory is an exploration of the local landscape, its stories and histories, via themed journeys along the cycle tracks outside the city walls and the country lanes beyond the ring road. Can also be enjoyed from the comfort of your sofa. Read more …



  1. Hi I stumbled across your blog whilst researching my 10 yr old sons homework!! My grandfather owned the farm at the end of the runway at East Moor and im searching for info as my son is doing a project on ww2 this term.
    We now live on the south coast but still have family nearby.
    Is this memorial in Sutton on the Forest?
    My grandfather used to tell us stories of how the bombers were often too heavyily laiden to take off and would crash in his fields or would over shoot on their return.
    So many people were lost – we owe them so much!

  2. Sally Walker

    I searched out East Moor after happening to see a picture of a Halifax and an information card hanging on the wall of a pub (on Sept. 30, 2015) telling of the crash of an RCAF crew into a nearby farmer’s field. My Dad, Glenn Le Grice, was a Canadian navigator with Sqadrons 415 and 426. I knew he had been at East Moor, and he had told me about being in a plane immediately behind one that had caught fire upon take-off in such an incident. In fact, I have a painting of the event hanging in my hall in Goderich, Ontario, Canada. The next morning, my husband, two friends and I spent about an hour walking around the remains of one of the old runways and found bits of very old aviation wire, some wild poppies, and a piece of machinery that the men thought might have had something to do with propping the wings of the planes up. I was totally and I must say profoundly moved by my visit. It brought me to tears as I felt so close to my Dad who passed away in 2006 at age 92. I finally felt that I had a connection to all the stories he had told me in the last part of his life. I had always been proud of him (he received a Distinguished Flying Cross), and I was aware of some very tough times he experienced when he had returned to civilian life in Canada. Today, I believe he would have been considered to have Post Traumatic Shock Syndrome, but back then it went undiagnosed and untreated. Fortunately through the strength and support of my mother and by his own strength of character, he did recover, but it took years. So, l must say standing on the field at East Moor was a very cathartic moment for me and the real highlight of our UK trip. We visited the nearby memorial and I do thank those involved in having it built.

    Call it what you will, but it really was chance/fate/serendipity that I had this experience as I certainly had not planned on trying to find East Moor.

  3. Sally Walker

    Thank you Lisa for your comment. I would imagine that my Dad may well have stayed in the service hostel in York. I know that he and another crew member bought a car and he also had a motorcycle for awhile, I believe. He definitely had visited York during the war, and did get to see quite a bit of England when he was on leave. He often spoke of the beauty of the coutryside.

  4. David Hale

    My wife and I will be visiting the area in September 2019, Her father Cerdic G Collier was stationed at RCAF East Moor in WW2. We have a photo with him and his mates in front of some brick buildings they worked in preparing bomb loads for the bombers. I am wondering if you can still get up to the base to see the buildings or the runways.

    • Ian Bradshaw

      I visited Runnymead Memorial 18th July and will be visiting East Moore Airfield on the 28th July 2019. This will be precisely 70 years to the day that my Grandfather took off in a Halifax on an operation to Hamburg, which tragically they did not return. A letter we found of my Nans from the pilots family said ” they plane was seen to be on fire, we pray they bailed out.”. During my research, I found an excellent website “aircrew remembered”. The information on the site is growing and growing and I encourage all relatives of these brave men to contribute photos and stories. We must keep their memories alive and hopefully, the world will not require such a horrendous sacrifice of so many again.

  5. Ian Bradshaw

    With regards to the Airfield, there are numerous buildings that still exist.
    This website has not only photos of the buildings, of which many are hidden in the trees but also gives you a map of each area and an arrow pointing towards the subject. We plan to use this on our visit. Hope this is helpful for you and your wife when you visit in September

    • David Hale

      Ian, Thank you very much and yes the information will be of great assistance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Thank you for adding a comment. Please note that comments are moderated, but should appear within 24 hours.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.