About Us


RAFA Rutland Branch was formed in July 1949 and has gone through many ups and downs in its history. However, back in 1997 the Branch was in a desperate state. Only about 5 people used to meet in a corner of the Royal British Legion in Oakham. The Branch was re-vitalised by a small group of serving personnel led by the then Station Commander (Bruce Benstead) of RAF North Luffenham (now sadly handed over to the Army). Bruce encouraged the few to recruit new members and after a lot of hard work a vibrant Branch was spawned. From there, Rob Toy took on Chairmanship for over 10 years and steered the Branch to become ever larger, until his sad demise.  Sadly some of those original few are no longer with us, and as we say in RAFA “We will remember them”

The RAFA Rutland Branch that now exists is a vibrant, friendly club that is truly rejuvenated and looking forward to the future.

Object of RAFA

The object for which the Association is established is to promote, through the comradeship engendered by its members, the welfare by charitable means of all serving and former members of Her Majesty;s Air Forces, their spouses and dependants, together with the widows and widowers and dependants of those who died whilst serving or subsequently.

The Present

RAFA Rutland now undertakes a lot of fundraising for the annual RAFA Wings Appeal and other Service causes.  The current Chairman is Duncan Manderson and our Branch President is Air Marshal Philip Oliver Sturley, CB, MBE, FRAeS (Retd).

RAFA Wings Appeal is held every year close to the date of The Battle of Britain – September 15th. The main focus of our fundraising is street collections in Oakham and Uppingham, supplemented by door-to-door collections around some of the local Rutland villages.


An Honorary Branch Welfare Officer provides a direct link with the RAFA Welfare Services – read more

Most meetings have interesting speakers, who cover a range of subjects. Obviously the main subjects covered have an Air Force focus, but there are many other local subjects covered. RAFA Rutland also undertakes some outings to Waddington Air Show, canal boat trips,and many other fun places.


RAFA Rutland produces a monthly Newsletter, The Flying Horseshoe. This has won awards for its innovation and quality. The Newsletter is circulated by post to those not having email and electronically to those who do. Back copies of the Flying Horseshoe can be viewed on the Newsletter Page.

RAFA Dedication

Click here to read

The Flying Horseshoe - logo of RAFA Rutland

The Flying Horseshoe, emblem of the RAFA Rutland Branch