RAF Lindholme and Lindholme Willie
There are possibly two ghosts from the Lindhome area that have been referred to as Lindholme Willie, or a variation of that name. The first is associated with the story of a hermit known as William or William de Lindholme who’s ghost was said to haunt the moor. The second Lindholme Willie, who also haunted the moor is usually associated with a WWII airman.
Harry Ludlam, in his 1966 book ‘The Mummy Of Birchen Bower and other True Ghosts’, gives the following description of WWII Lindholme Willie. ‘The ghost of Lindholme RAF station, near Doncaster, made its first appearance in 1947, when it was said to have been seen walking out of the nearby marshes. Several people since have reported seeing “Lindholme Willie”, as the ghost has come to be known. Villagers of nearby Hatfield believe the ghost to be that of an airman killed in a crash on the marshes in the war. Every description of the ghost has been the same: a big man in aircrew dress. In November, 1957, a corporal in Traffic Control at Lindholme reported seeing “Willie’s” misty shape walk to the runway from the direction of the marshes. He radioed control, but before he could get a closer look at the figure it vanished.’
According to tradition, the airman is thought to have been amongst the Polish crew of W5557, a Wellington bomber that crashed on 27 September 1941(either at 0315hrs or 0130hrs) on Hatfield Moor. The aircraft was returning after a bombing raid on Cologne and, being short of fuel, stalled, forcing the crew to try and land her. Some accounts say it hit a farm coming down. Four crew members died and possibly according some accounts three civilians.
One of the ghosts first appearances is thought to have been in a field behind the Robin Hood and Little John public house. In the 1980’s a body was found close to A638 Bawtry Road which was thought to have been a Polish airman from W5557. Following his burial Lindholme Willie has not been seen in any of his usual haunts.
Since 1985 the site of RAF Lindholme has been used as a men’s prison for category C and D inmates. It is called HM Prison Lindholme.