Scottow – Scottow Cemetery

I’m not sure that I’ve been here for over thirty years, this is the combined parish and war cemetery at Scottow. I remember when visiting as a child the slightly confusing nature of the war graves here (more of which in later posts) as there were servicemen buried here from all over Europe, including from the German military.

The cemetery and mortuary chapel were opened in 1902, I assume as Scottow Church had no more spaces for burials.

War graves from RAF Coltishall were placed here until September 1943, when space became short and then those who died were laid to rest in North Walsham church. Later on, further military burials returned here and continued to be until the airfield’s closure a few years ago.

As an aside, it was tradition for new air bases to be named after the local railway station, but RAF Buxton wouldn’t work because of the similarly named town in Buxton. Instead they went for another nearby railway station, choosing Coltishall as their air base name. This is why the air base was never called RAF Scottow, even though the site had previously been known as Scottow Aerodrome before the RAF got there. Buxton and Coltishall railway stations still sort of exist, but they’re now on the Bure Valley heritage railway line which operates between Hoveton & Wroxham and Aylsham.

A purchase of some more land has recently been made and this is the new cut through into this additional space.

This is the new space that has been opened up for future burials, which should prove sufficient in size for at least another couple of generations. There’s something quite peaceful about this spot, and there was in many ways even when RAF Coltishall was operating. Perhaps there was something quite appropriate about former airmen being buried so near to the landing strip of a military airbase, but tranquility will hopefully now take over.