Maj Steve Elsey, Memorial Project Manager, writes:
During the Annual General Meeting at Bournemouth, last year, one of the veterans raised the question of the possibility of a permanent memorial to the memory of the Regiment. Several of us involved with the GPRA discussed the idea and, having spoken with the Chairman, decided that there should be a national memorial to this group of men; and so the project to establish a GPR Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA), Staffordshire commenced.
My proposal for such a memorial to the GPR at the NMA went to the NMA’s Memorial Advisory Committee on the 20th of March and I am very pleased to say that I have received their final approval to raise the GPR Memorial.
I now need to raise the funds to provide a suitable memorial to these courageous, highly skilled and determined men. The cost of the complete project i.e. engraving, siting, foundations, paving, a Regimental history board and dedication service has been costed at £5,000. My intention has always been to have this memorial raised for them and not by them and I intend to attempt to have the memorial positioned and dedicated this year. so as to allow as many of the surviving veterans to understand what they, and their comrades no longer with us, mean to us all.
It has been agreed to site the memorial on Market Garden Way at the Arboretum, which is lined by trees provided by the people of Arnhem. Our memorial stone has been provided by the people of Renkum Municipality in the Netherlands, the area in which the GPR mainly fought, in September 1944, during what is known as the Battle of Arnhem; a fitting link I hope you agree to their history.
The memorial stone will be inscribed with the first and last cap badges of the Regiment, state ‘The Glider Pilot Regiment 1942 – 1957’ and underneath ‘Nothing Is Impossible’. A potted history of the Regiment will appear on the rear and a path will be provided around the stone to allow visitors a view of it all.
Any donation, however small, will be very much appreciated and help raise this national memorial to those men of the GPR. If you feel able to support this project and want to make a donation then there are two ways you can do this:
UK cheque: Please make out your cheque to the GPRA, and annotate on the reverse ‘GPR Memorial Fund’. It can then be sent to our Treasurer:
Major P Furber QGM
PSAO TA Centre
Bank Transfer: To the GPRA Bank Account, again annotating ‘GPR Memorial Fund’ on the paperwork. The GPRA bank account details required by your bank are:
Glider Pilot Regiment
Holts Military Banking - Farnborough
Account Number 10628288
Sort Code 161926
If you have any questions then please contact me and I will try my best to answer them.
Thank you for your time.