The Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome lies to the east of Chelmsford and west of Maldon, Essex (UK), within an area of gently-rolling farmland.
A unique place, with a unique history. Its story covers 100 years of life comprising feverish excitement interspersed with periods of calm and tranquillity.
Originally opened in 1916 as home to B-Flight of No 37 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, the aerodrome saw the birth of the Air Defence of Great Britain
in response to the first raids by Zeppelins and Gotha bombers on London and the South East.
It is the largest known surviving group of RFC buildings on a WWI aerodrome.
Work on developing an airfield at Stow Maries was begun after the outbreak of war in 1914. Located on a level
plateau to the north of the river Crouch, the aerodrome comprised a main 'street' aligned north-south, with
buildings on either side; the parade ground and reception building lay to the west, and the flying field and hangars
to the east.
The first aircraft, part of the 37th Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps, arrived
at Stow Maries in 1916.
The 37 Squadron was made up of three flights: A-Flight, based at Rochford (later developed
as Southend Airport); B-Flight based at Stow Maries, and C-Flight based at Goldhangar (no longer extant). B-Flight
were under the command of Lt. Claude Ridley.
The RFC was an Empire-wide service, attracting Pilots from Canada, South Africa and Australia amongst others and a number of nationalities were represented at