Exhibition to celebrate the centenary of the founding of Westland Aircraft Works

David Lloyd George

From 24 July 2015 there will be a display in the Town House, Union Street, Yeovil to celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Westland Aircraft Works.

The display has been organised by South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre and a free booklet can also be obtained on the history of the founding from the Town House and Yeovil Library in King George Street.

Westland Aircraft Works was founded in 1915 after the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, announced in Parliament that Great Britain did not have the necessary resources to win the war.  On hearing this Petters Ltd, who had opened a new foundry at Westland in 1913, decided to place their resources at the disposal of the Government.  Following meetings between the Petter family and the Admiralty in London it was decided that the Westland Foundry should make Naval Aircraft for the war effort.


Councillor Nick Weeks, Portfolio Holder for Heritage said, “We are excited to offer the opportunity to members of the public to view a fantastic display by our Heritage team. Westlands Aircraft Works has been a fundamental part of the history of Yeovil and we are glad we can help to celebrate the centenary of the founding of the works.”

Plane being launched at Short Bros Rochester 1915 courtesy of Guildhall Museum, Rochester

Come along and find out how the aircraft were made at Yeovil, who made them and how horses were involved.  You can also find out the answer to how the planes were tested even though the Westland Aircraft Works did not have an aerodrome until April 1917.