December 2023

Twelve Days of Radar – Day Three

For this instalment of our 12 Days of Bawdsey, we are telling the story of Squadron Leader Eric FC Thomas who was stationed at RAF Bawdsey in 1942.

During his time at RAF Bawdsey, Pt/O Thomas was an instructor, training new recruits in using the ever-changing radar equipment. At this time, the site was the radar training school, with all those who would work on radar throughout Britain coming to Bawdsey to learn their trade, meaning there were plenty of new service personnel to train!

After his time at RAF Bawdsey, Eric was posted to Burma and India where he was involved in setting up a chain of radar stations. He later established the RAF Radar Training School in Bombay, a site where he remained as the Commanding Officer until he was demobbed. After leaving the RAF, Sdn Ldr Thomas returned home to London, where he ran the family hotel with his mother and father. His connection with the RAF did not end here, however, as he returned RAF Stanmore to attend short refresher courses to keep his knowledge of radar updated should he be needed to return to active service.

It was while he was stationed abroad that he met his future wife, who was a Junior Commander in the Women’s Auxiliary Corp (India).

While at Bawdsey, Eric sent many letters home to his family, which have kindly been shared with us by his daughter Jacky. These letters offer a wonderful insight into the everyday lives of those who lived at worked at the site.

Pt/O Eric FC Thomas

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Twelve Days of Radar – Day Three