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Posted on Oct 13, 2007 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Market Garden Commemorative Jump 2007

By Martin Fielden

Ian showed us around Oosterbeek as he’s very knowledgeable about the whole battle. We found the tree with the ‘1st Airborne 1944’ carved in it, Kate Ter Horsts house, the little church where they rested whilst Major Lonsdale gave that rousing speech and on to the bridge –the bridge has been rebuilt, named the ‘John Frost Bridge’ & dedicated to the men who fought for freedom.

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The ‘John Frost Bridge’ – Imagine a Tiger coming towards you firing
whilst you wait patiently with your PIAT

Neither Ian nor myself has crossed that bridge just as they never did.

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We headed off to Oosterbeek cemetery and walked in with hundreds of other people. The main ceremony went on with representatives from Holland, Poland & Britain, readings of the Airborne prayer and the singing of the Airborne hymn. Quietly at first then louder we heard the sound of the children walking down the gravel path towards the entrance, they each carried a bunch of flowers and walked in single file down each row of stones, this continued for ages and was made up of young children with their teacher right up to the older scouts.

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A plaque for the flower children and Oosterbeek cemetery before the service

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The children stood proudly by the grave stone they had been allocated and on cue turned to face it, without a command and in unison they placed the flowers down upon the grave. As I looked around at the faces of hardened soldiers, veterans and people just paying their respect to the soldiers there was hardly a dry eye around. Applause broke out for the children laying the flowers and helped us to recompose ourselves. Overhead two Hercules flew over followed by the ‘Lady’ on her way to drop the Groesbeek jumpers.

It was time to go home, until next time.

Everyone always says I couldn’t have done this without…….its true!. I really couldn’t have done it without my wife’s support, upon my return she only had 4 weeks to go before our son is due & my daughters Natasha and Issy.

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The final word

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5 Comments

  1. Lovely, never seen this before! Found it almost 6yrs after this jump!
    I’m the F.A.N.Y.!

    • Well written articles like yours renews my faith in todâaâ€y„¢s writers. You’ve written info I can lastly agree on and use. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks to Monica I also found this site with pictures and stories….
    I was no. 13 – first stick who jumped that year, together with Monica…..it was my first time jumping from a C47 and first time jumping Ginkel Heath….
    Now at this moment I jumped the C47 many times with lots of commemoration jumps on several original DZ’s in Holland and Normandy.
    This year I will join and jump the Market Garden 2013 event again :-)

    Airborne – all the way

    Blue skies,
    JumpingMM

  3. And I was no. 4, first stick!

  4. Short, sweet, to the point, FRE-eExactly as information should be!

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