In 1984, I had the great pleasure of acting as a tour guide for a coach party of Arnhem Veterans returning to the battlefield for the 40th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden. I had never been there but diligently did my research. I used history books and maps to plan an itinerary that would take in all the main fighting areas, memorials and the major commemorative events. I was very pleased when several of the veterans were very complimentary about my knowledge of the battle.
They were fascinating and very candid about their experiences and the horrors they endured. The youngest veteran on my coach was 58. So young, compared to now when the numbers of Second World War are rapidly diminishing. It was a wonderful experience. I was pleased to find a captioned photograph this week - one of about 30 I had published in a magazine article I wrote afterwards.
The caption reads: After the service in Arnhem's Airborne Plein, four veterans of the Glider Pilot Regiment caught up with each other to recall their memories of the battle. Less well-acknowledged than their Para counterparts, the Glider Pilots played a vital part in Operation Market Garden. Pictured (left to right) are: George Davis (Sydney, Australia), Reg Dance DFM (Distinguished Flying Medal for gallantry at Arnhem) and Len King (both from London) and Jim Wells (Chepstow, Gwent) 22 Sept 84