Douglas Bader, RAF Hero

Did he live in Harpenden? The answer is 'No' but he did visit to play golf

By John Halsey

Photo:Douglas Bader

Douglas Bader

I know I am getting 'up along' now but I seem to remember that the hero of the RAF in WWII lived in Douglas Road, Harpenden on the left hand side entering from Luton Road. This would have been between 1962 and 1965. He died in London in 1982.

My wife does not recall this and she used to mark up the papers at Hockaday's on a daily basis.

Does anyone remember whether this was fact or some fault in my memory?

Photo:Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader, playing golf on Harpenden Common, 1960s

Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader, playing golf on Harpenden Common, 1960s

Scan from copy of photo in LHS archives

This page was added by John Halsey on 08/07/2014.
Comments about this page

I don't remember such a well known RAF flyer as Bader ever living in Harpenden and I was very much a part of the village scene in those days. I was 17 in 1962 and had left Hatfield School. My Grandma lived in Douglas Road and a couple of girl friends as well I might add, so that sort of information would have come to the fore I'm sure.

In the words of Marianne Faithfull: "Those were the days my friend."

Ed. Our curator, Les Casey, remembered that we have a photo of Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader, playing golf on Harpenden Common - we have added a scan to the page above.

By Graham Forsaith
On 07/06/2016

Arthur Summers was the managing director of the then Hunting Percival Aircraft Company and Ken Morgan was the financial director. My guess is that Douglas Bader was their guest for some period and they were entertaining him at the Common Golf Club.

Ed. Did Arthur Summers and the other golfers in the photo live in Harpenden?

By Colin Gaskin
On 21/06/2016

Colin Gaskin has emailed to confirm that Arthur Summers and Ken Morgan lived in Harpenden. "Both were customers of my Father in his hairdresser's business. Ken Morgan also had a brother, Maurice, who lived in Harpenden and I came to know him fairly well when both he, Maurice, and I worked for Hunting Engineering during the 1960s and 1970s."  

Colin added, "I am fairly certain that Douglas Bader did not live in Harpenden although another famous Battle of Britain pilot, Chris Currant, did - at the bottom of Clarence Road. He also worked for Hunting Engineering after retiring from his career in the RAF." 

By Rosemary Ross
On 05/07/2016

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