Arnhem Commemoration Weekend 2013
I am pleased to report that the Fellowship supported a number of activites and ceremonies during the 69th commemoration. The Hon Secretary and Dutch representative were invited to the unveiling of the Recce Squadron memorial on Thursday 19th September and some photos will appear in the October newsletter.Over 60 people attended the AGM and at this Colonel John Waddy handed over a Dutch Army officers sword to the Fellowship as the ‘Fellowship sword’ and some photos of this appear at the end of this article together with a number of other photos from the walk and Ginkel Heath.
I feel a major success was the Fellowship tent on Ginkel Heath at which members were able to meet veterans and fellow Fellowship members in a prime location and have a cup of coffee.
It is planned to repeat the tent in 2014.
A personal highlight for me was being asked by our veteran member Major Lewis Golden if I would help him trace the route he took to the river bank on the night of 25th/26th September 1944. I said I would have a go and spent hours researching the topic! On Saturday afternoon I therefore met with the Major, his son Jonathan and Tishie. Over the next hour we walked from the location of his slit trench in the grounds of the Hartenstein to the Kerkepad and onto the polder looking south towards the river. During the journey – the Major kept up a stiff pace for a 94 year old and I didn’t have to carry him once and he related many stories of that night and his time in the grounds of the Hartenstein. I only wish I had taken a tape recorder!
Sir it was an absolute pleasure and I look forward to seeing you again in 2014, Lewis said it was the first time he’d done it since that night in 1944! I would like to thank my friend John for giving nearly everyone a lift back to the Hartenstein and Graham for volunteering to act as an emergency stretcher bearer if required. I had to walk back- rank has it’s privileges!