Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Double Hills Arnhem Memorial Service, Paulton, Somerset

On Sunday 1st September I represented not only Chalk but had the honour of also representing the Glider Pilot Regiment itself when I attended the Double Hills Memorial Service at Paulton in Somerset. I had been invited down by the organiser of the event Peter Yeates who had seen our website and thought we'd be an ideal addition to the service which has run annually since 1979.

The memorial was established by a local committee headed by Peter to honour the men of Horsa glider Chalk 389 which carried men of 9th (Airborne) Field Company Royal Engineers which crashed on its way to Arnhem as part of Operation Market garden. All 21 men of the RE and the two glider pilots were killed in the crash at Doublehills Farm on the outskirts of Paulton in Somerset.

Link: Paradata Double Hills Article

I travelled down to Paulton on Saturday night and stayed in a very nice local B&B before meeting up in the village and marching to the memorial along with six Victorian policemen who are guard for the Lord Mayors Mace, a detachment of 9 Sqn Royal Engineers, a detachment of the Army Air Corps, the British Legion and a piper!

I had pride of place standing to one side of the Glider Pilot figure on the memorial and was asked by Glider Pilot veteran SSgt Arthur Shackleton to lay a wreath on behalf of Sgt Arthur Underwood who sadly passed away shortly before the service.

The day and the duties I was asked to carry out were a great honour for myself and Chalk and we'd like to thank Peter and the committee for inviting us to take part.

Having a chat with Arthur Shackleton (middle) and another Airborne veteran before the service.

Unveiling the Airborne Pegasus, a new addition to the Memorial.
Arthur Shackleton lays a wreath on behalf of the Glider Pilot Regiment Association with Chalk in the background.
Chalk and Double Hill committee members being inspected by Arthur Shackleton and Colonel Peter Eadie the Commandant Army Aviation Centre, Middle Wallop.

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