Port Meadow | University of Oxford

Port Meadow

The ancient grazing land of Port Meadow was transformed during the War into a military training ground. This was not without complications, every morning the livestock that graze on the land had to be moved out of the flightpath of military planes.

Port Meadow Airfield, Oxford during WW1Port Meadow Airfield, Oxford during WW1:
For more information: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01x0l00

The ancient grazing land of Port Meadow was transformed during the War into a military training ground. This was not without complications, every morning the livestock that graze on the land had to be moved out of the flightpath of military planes and the characteristic fog and mud of the area was far from ideal. 

In 1911 the Oxford Freeman allowed flying rights for 10 pounds a year for the loss of land and any cattle related casualties. In the War the land was used as a military aerodrome for training the Royal Flying Corps. In total, 15 air crew and pilots were killed flying in or around the Port Meadow training base. 

World War One soldiers and local residents Ron Bateman and Tommy Thomas recall learning to fly and bombing practice with bags of flour.