Revisiting Theirs Is The Glory Battlefield Walk by Graham Francis
The afternoon following the Arnhem Fellowship AGM saw the inimitable Niall Cherry lead the second annual walk. The subject was that most memorable of British war Films, Theirs is the Glory. A unique piece of cinematography, combining as it did archive 1944 footage with scenes shot in 1945, using survivors of the battle, on the sites of the battle. Over sixty people were in attendance, when Niall kicked off proceedings at the Oosterbeek Old Church. He introduced our special guest, Allan Smith, great nephew of the film’s director, Brian Desmond Hurst. Allan’s enthusiasm and passion for the film was soon evident and he regaled those present with a series of fascinating insights into the making of the film. He explained how Brian, a veteran of Gallipolli, had been determined to honour and reflect the experiences of the soldiers at Arnhem and spent many hours recording their stories and memories. He illustrated the talk with a number of stills taken from the film, as did others present. Allan is making a documentary on the making of the film and is keen to identify all 200 participants and to meet any veterans still surviving. After describing the scene at the Church, including the famous Lonsdale speech, we moved on to Weverstraat. Resident expert, on all things Arnhem, Robert Voskuil described the situation there in both 1944 and in 1945 when the street, together with a destroyed German tank, were used for several scenes. We moved northwards via Jagerkamp and Paasberg before turning into Pietersbergseweg, where the exploits of the late Tony Crane were described. We were then privileged to be invited inside the Tafelberg, where Niall and Allan stood on the historic staircase to tell the story of the building, in both the battle and the film. No one present could have failed to be moved when Allan related how in 1945, veterans used breaks in filming to walk the grounds and identify the sites of the field burials of their fallen comrades. There was just time for a visit from Arnhem and film veteran, Gerry Dimmock, before we concluded. Thank you to all present, to Robert Sigmond for a splendid souvenir booklet and to Niall, Robert and Allan for providing such an enjoyable afternoon. I look forward to seeing Allan’s documentary, but in the meantime roll on 2013 and the 3rd annual walk.
Chris Gryzelka spoke at the AGM about his efforts to try and get a memorial post to the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron placed in the Oosterbeek area. The Fellowship are supporting this plan and have written a letter of support to the powers that be. Drawings of the proposed memorial.
New promotional products now available
After many months of negotiating with suppliers you now have the opportunity to purchase some of the products showcased at last year’s AGM and, in doing so, help support the Fellowship.Reversible fleeces/JacketsPolo shirts (men’s & ladies)Ties
PLEASE NOTE: DUE TO ONGOING PROBLEMS WITH POSTAGE COSTS NOT BEING CORRECTLY ADDED TO THE SHOPPING CART AT CHECKOUT,ALL ITEMS ARE NOW PRICED INCLUSIVE OFPOSTAGE & PACKING CHARGES.April 2012Ex 11th Btn. veteran Pat Gorman receiving the very first copy of Arnhem Their Final Battle -The 11th Parachute Battalion 1943-44