Faith and hope at Scampton, 1943

RAF SCAMPTON Chapel in base WWII Revd Don HulbertsThe chapel at RAF Scampton, 1942. [Pic: Stephen Murray]

The spiritual needs of the Allied forces during the Second World War were met by a large number of clergy who volunteered to serve as chaplains for its duration. One of these was Rev Donald Hulbert, Rector of a Suffolk parish, who became the Anglican padre at RAF Scampton in 1942. His wife, Vi Hulbert, a musician and a woman with a strong faith of her own, moved with him to live in two rooms in a builder’s house in a nearby village. The base’s chapel can be seen in the wartime pciture shown above.
They stayed at Scampton for about two years, a period which covered the five and a half months 617 Squadron was present, and were there when the Dams Raid took place. Some thirty years later, Vi Hulbert wrote a short pamphlet called Reflections of a Parson’s Wife. Stephen Murray has kindly sent me a copy of this, along with some other wartime photographs.

Vi Hulbert cover

Mrs Hulbert’s account of the period is very short, but is worth recording. She was responsible for the flower arrangements on the day of the visit to Scampton by the King and Queen on 27 May 1943.
Vi Hulbert p14Donald and Vi Hulbert can be seen together in this picture. Note that she is wearing a ‘sweetheart’ RAF wings brooch.

Vi and Donald hulbert

Among the other interesting pictures in Stephen Murray’s collection is this shot of Scampton CO, Gp Capt Charles Whitworth. The officer on the right is Wg Cdr Everett Briggs, a First World War RAF officer who re-enlisted in the later conflict and who worked on administrative matters at Scampton. The name of the airman on the left is not known. The picture was taken in the vegetable garden on the base, and a couple of men can be seen at work in the background.
RAF Scampton Group Capt John Whitworth 1942 A

All pics courtesy Stephen Murray.

6 thoughts on “Faith and hope at Scampton, 1943

  1. jenny elmes May 27, 2016 / 4:42 pm

    Dear Charles

    what interesting bits you find! Thanks

    Jenny Elmes


  2. Priscilla littmoden May 27, 2016 / 6:12 pm

    How interesting, well done in finding this information. I love this blog

  3. Mike Farrier May 27, 2016 / 7:15 pm


    I definitely agree with Jenny Elmes’s statement about the wonderful morsels of Dambuster info you find. As a newcomer to this site, it is something I’ve now come to look forward to weekly, plus I’ve tipped off a few like minded chums!

    Many thanks,

    Mike Farrier

  4. Ady Longmate May 28, 2016 / 7:10 pm

    Charles Foster please keep up the good work .

  5. Tom Evans May 30, 2016 / 10:46 am

    Dear Sir

    Very interesting as are all the blogs I have seen on this site.
    As the head guide at RAF Scampton’s heritage centre all the information I read in your very informative blogs I am most grateful for and is very much appreciated as training for new guides and adds to the experience of our many visitors.
    Thank you very much and look forward to your further kind information

    Tom Evans

  6. Edwina Towson May 31, 2016 / 2:20 pm

    Fascinating glimpse of 617 through an aspect that I had never even considered! As usual, your presentation brings the subject matter to life very well.

    Nice to know that people are still willing to send archive material such as this for its wider appreciation.

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