The Suffolk Archives statement on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its services is available to read here.

Stories of RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall

Investigating 70 years of airbase and community

RAF Lakenheath is the largest US Air Force base in Europe. Originally built by the RAF as part of Britain’s defences during the Second World War, it has hosted the USAF since 1948. RAF Mildenhall was first established in 1930, and has been home to the USAF since 1950, and has been ‘The Gateway to the United Kingdom’ for most US military personnel and their dependents arriving or leaving the UK since 1958.

This community project is investigating how these airbases and their surrounding communities have co-existed alongside each other for the last 70 years.

If you would like to get involved, please get in touch with us on 

Volunteers at Lakenheath Village Fete 2019

What the project has achieved so far

Volunteers have undertaken archival research, and these stories have been shared with the schools connected with RAF Lakenheath. We have worked closely throughout with the Lakenheath Heritage Group.

RAF Lakenheath is not only home to American military personnel, but also to their families. There are five schools that serve the base, with over 2,500 children attending them. We have worked closely with these schools, who have taken the archive material researched by our volunteers as inspiration to produce displays, videos, and drama. This partnership work was recognised with an Exemplary Community Partnership award from the Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Awards, which recognise successful partnerships which benefit military-connected children.

A story from St Mary’s

A story from St Mary’s

For hundreds of years, carved wooden angels have lined the roof at St Mary’s Church in Lakenheath. If they could speak, what stories might they have to tell us?
Advice for new arrivals

Advice for new arrivals

Advice from students at Liberty Intermediate School and Lakenheath High School for students moving country, inspired by material from Suffolk Archives.
Month of the Military Child

Month of the Military Child

A travelling display of work by students from the RAF Lakenheath schools exploring ideas about home and starting over in new places
‘I have three homes’

‘I have three homes’

An online display by students from RAF Lakenheath schools about their experiences of arriving and living in Suffolk.

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Sharing Suffolk Stories

Stories of RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall is a Sharing Suffolk Stories project, part of a countywide programme of activities to run alongside the development of ‘The Hold’, which will engage more people than ever before in Suffolk’s archival heritage.