Signatures at the Swan
With four USAAF airfields within 6 miles and a US hospital only 4 miles away, Lavenham was a popular destination for US service personnel. The Swan Hotel in Lavenham was one of the favourite meeting places in the village and servicemen of the United States Army Air Force, Royal Air Force, Corps of Military Police, the Army, Royal Engineers and Royal Army Service Corps are known to have relaxed and socialised here. Many of the servicemen during this time signed the wall of the small bar, known as the airmen’s bar in their honour.
The Eighth in the East are working in partnership with the Stour Valley Community Archaeology Group to record the many WW2 and post-war signatures. Many of the signatures are fading so the project aims to record and research the signatures before any more fade and dissapear with time.
The wall panels have been professionally photographed by a local Lavenham photographer and have been enlarged in order to transcribe and decipher the signatures. Volunteers from the Stour Valley Archaeology Group are now carrying out the transcibing process and creating a database of names. Following this they plan to research the names and discover more about the individuals behind the signatures, along with their stories.
The project has already a large following and as a result many relatives of servicemen in the US have been in contact with The Swan, hopefully they may be able to spot their relatives signature in the pictures below? We even made it onto the local news.
Jane Larcombe, Business Development Manager, at the Swan said:
We think the project presents a great chance to identify and share stories about the individuals who visited the Airmen’s Bar, and is a great way of keeping the legacy alive.
If you would like to help out in the transcription or historical research elements of the project or if you recognise a signature from the photographs below, please get in touch.
PDF links to the Signature Panels can be found at the bottom of this page.
PDF documents of the Signature Panels can be accessed below, just click on the Signature Panel that you wish to view:
Please disregard the PDF download link below this statement