December 2023

Twelve Days of Radar – Day Two

In our next instalment of 12 Days of Bawdsey, we are sharing a story from the site’s Cold War history that has been little told.

While the men and women who lived and worked at RAF Bawdsey were, of course, vital to the operation of the site, many dogs also played a key part in guarding the site. We have recently uncovered images of some of the dogs who worked at site including Eric, Bismarck and Prince, all of whom worked with Jason Lehan, a dog handler at the site with the RAF Police. Other dogs at the site included Duke, who Jason recalls had a particularly strong bite, even through the attack suit!

A dog that features prominently in stories about RAF Bawdsey is Air Dog Skip, whose last handler at the site was Colin Lowther, who took Skip on in retirement. Skip was even entered in the RAF Police dog trials and did well at a national level.

Skip features in the memories of Squadron Leader Derek Rothery, the last Station Commander of RAF Bawdsey. Derek remembers that on the final closure date of RAF Bawdsey in 1991, ‘Air Dog Skip… was on parade having been promoted that day to Corporal Air Dog Skip and he retired that day after the closure ceremony’.

Many other dogs lived and worked at the site, helping to keep the RAF Bawdsey, and those who served at the site, safe at the height of the Cold War.


 Skip being inspected by the Provo Officer
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Twelve Days of Radar – Day Two