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Royal Air Force Station West Kirby
West Kirby, Merseyside
Ensign of the Royal Air Force
Type Training Camp
Coordinates Latitude: 53.38
Longitude: -3.14
In use 1940-1957

RAF West Kirby was a Royal Air Force basic training camp near West Kirby, Wirral Peninsula, England.

The camp at Larton in Cheshire was actually located 3 miles from West Kirby village from which it took its name. It was set up at the beginning of the Second World War as a basic training camp to train new recruits into the Royal Air Force. It was very first base of most personnel there during 1940s to 1960 most of whom were newly called up in the rank of AC2 (the very lowest rank in the RAF) for their 2 years National Service in the British armed forces known as a "square bashing camp" in the vernacular. At this base, the men were given their initial training on their first entry into RAF which included first learning of RAF parade ground drill with rifles, intensive physical fitness training, training in ground combat and defence under Non Commissioned Officers of the RAF Regiment and some education about the RAF and its history. Men while undergoing their basic training at West Kirby were accommodated in wooden barrack huts, each one housing about twenty men. Because West Kirby was a basic training camp with no airfield there, discipline was very much stricter than in any normal RAF operational or trade training camp. Recruits normally spent a period of 8 weeks on their training at West Kirby before being posted on to their "trade training" camp elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Thousands of conscripts went through its gates up until 1960, when the camp was demolished and the land converted back into farming fields. The camp entrance was on Saughall Massie Road, almost opposite Oldfield Lane. A dedication plaque was installed where the camp entrance used to be in 2006.


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