RN man at Burn Camp?

Discussion in 'General' started by Rebecca - WW2 research, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. Hello,

    I am researching a Royal Navy petty officer who sent an Xmas card home in 1943. The card has "P.O's Mess, Burn Camp" printed on it. Does anyone have any idea where this could be?

    His service record has him at Tyne (the destroyer depot) over Christmas 1943, although I suppose it's possible that this was just put down as his accounting base. Up until November that year his service record had him at "Tyne (Onslow)", so it seems he may have just missed out on the Battle of the North Cape!

    Any pointers here would be much appreciated.

    With thanks,
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Any idea what he did ??

    Found a possible
    578 Squadron
    Based at Burn
    After quite a few months at Snaith in Yorkshire, working along with girls on tele-printers and telegrams, I was posted to RAF Burn, a satellite station to Snaith, only three and a half miles from home. I had hit the jackpot and here my very happy eighteen months of the war were spent.
    The twenty months I spent at Burn aerodrome were the happiest time I had during my three and a half years in the air force. I was known as LACW Hope 2135436, my name was Elsie, but I was always referred to as 'Faith'. After training as a wireless operator at Compton Bassett, we were immediately made redundant, tele-printers had come into use. We were allowed to choose where we would like to be posted. I'd put 'Snaith' which was near my home so imagine my surprise when I realised I had been sent there.
    After a short while I was sent on to Burn, where my happy memories began. I was told to report to the signals maintenance section and my surprise when I got there was that they had never had a WAAF before. Sergeant Davies in charge was not pleased and I can't say I was thrilled either! The airmen at break time greeted me and after a while I was accepted. I was given various jobs, among them was checking the crew's helmets before ops. One officer refused to trust me until after two nights when a rear gunners ear phones hadn't worked they passed them over to me to repair. It needed soldering iron to a wire and I got all the jobs after then. All had settled down when one morning the W.O. walked in, they had forgotten I was there! I was told to report to the signals officer Flt.Lieut. Leigh. I was put to work in the signals office where I was needed most, so my jobs were very varied and scary.
    It was at this time in late autumn 1943 that I had to report to Sgt Davies at Wireless Maintenance Section. Whatever work was I going to be able to do there? Well I soon found out! Sgt. Davies was a small fair-haired married man with pleasant manners. He very soon announced that he was having "no nonsense" in his section. They had never had a WAAF in maintenance before and he certainly was not pleased at my arrival. He was even less pleased when, at break time, about eight of his men arrived and cheered at the sight of the new recruit. It was very embarrassing and how does one set about convincing a Sergeant and his men that I too was not pleased with where I had been sent? I quietly went about the tasks that I was given and I was quickly accepted into the daily routine.

    There is more on the link which if its the right place would obviously be worth reading

    Maybe its RAF Burn - Wikipedia hence the question about what he did in his role as a Petty Officer
  3. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    HMS Tyne was at Scapa Flow. Pure guess that Burn Camp was somewhere in this area.

  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Can you post up as copy of his service records, sometimes theses codes etc can be misread, its always good to see the original

    timuk likes this.
  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    The Rackwick Bay Camp was located in the South Burn Valley Orkney which is in the right location. What it's purpose is I don't know but bits of it are still standing. It was a WW2 site.
  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    RAF Burn was in No 4 Group,Bomber Command I would not designate it as a satellite airfield for it was a Bomber Command airfield in its own right.No 578 Squadron (Halifax 111) was one of those short term wartime squadrons, formed from No 51 Squadron C Flight at Snaith,really in Pollington village, a short distance west of Snaith.

    I know the village well,I lived there.....cannot remember that RN personnel were based there and have never heard of it before.

    Burn airfield for interest:

    ex-RAF Burn in news

    As Tim states Burn Camp may have been in the area close to HMS Tyne which served at anchorage from 1940 to 1944, as the depot ship for destroyers at Scapa Flow.....could have been a RN supply base.
  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Checking local gov info it would appear that the South Burn Valley contained a radar installation and a number of search light and AA positions all part of the Scapa Flow defensive system
  8. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

  9. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

  10. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    That was where the RA had gun sites and radar. Highly unlikely to be the site of an RN Petty Officer's Mess. We don't even know that Burn Camp was at Scapa Flow, that, as I stated, was a guess based on where HMS Tyne was. Now we're into the realms of fantasy guessing just because the place has 'Burn' in it. On these lines you could have chosen the Burn of Ore at Lyness, a major naval conglomeration and where it's known there were recreational and dining buildings and a much more likely place for a Petty Officer's Mess.

  11. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    There was a lot more there than the RA who manned a howitzedr. The Navy also had AA there. It seems very coincidental if there were two sites in Scapa flow with Burn in the location don't you think?
  12. Hello everyone,

    Thank you so much for all your replies, it is so helpful to have some options for this camp to explore, I will do some digging on your suggestions. I find WW2 Talk to be a fantastic resource for these all important details, which can’t always be readily found in the history books!

    Many thanks,

    P.S: I’m researching on behalf of someone else, so I won’t post photos of the service record at this point as I don't have their permission
  13. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    You could try an enquiry to museum@orkney.gov.uk. The museum is closed at the moment but no doubt someone is picking up the emails. Let us know if anything turns up.

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  14. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    From The Navy List April 1943:


    But I can't see any other reference to Burn Camp in the list. So no further in the search for a location unfortunately.

    timuk likes this.

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