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BATTLEFIELD TOUR 2013 - Arnhem

Just two weeks before we arrived, the good people of Arnhem revealled this wonderful feature.
It would have been rude not to appreciate the Aardvark, so Lyn was volunteered to be polite on our behalf.
At least this was a lift rather than lots and lots of steps up yet another bell tower.

Everyone must have watched that epic film, 'A Bridge too Far'? This is that bridge, well an exact replica in fact Now named the John Frost Bridge after Major-General John Frost who commanded the British forces that made it to the bridge during the ill fated Operation Market Garden.

The operation turned out to be the last battle lost by the Allies during the Second World War. It very nearly succeeded, but in the end it, despite heroic efforts, it only succeeded in bringing death and destruction to the local population.

Astonishingly, the citizens of Arnhem bare them no ill feeling and have nothing but admiration to the men that tried to free them and show great hospitality and respect to those veterans that survive and the young men that currently serve in the British 1st Airborne Division along with the Polish and American forces involved.

By coincidence, we happened to arrive in Arnhem during the anniversary of the battle and had the honour of seeing some of those veterans and the esteem they are held by the local population.

The pipers lead the approach to the centre of the battle site and the ceremony.
Standing room only as the town comes to a halt.
Veterans take pride of place.
The ceremony over, the veterans are applauded as they make their way to a civic reception.
This time followed by the ever present pipers.
Time for food.
No idea what is going on here.
Ben and Derek take the opportunity to be Devon's own Banksies.
And a little bit of Devon will forever be in Arnhem.
And aren't they pleased about it?
The following day, we start with the little museum at the foot of the John Frost Bridge.
Then off to the museum at Oosterbeek.
This is the actual building that was depicted in the last stand in A Bridge too Far.
 
A new memorial is dedicated to RAF who lost their lives in support of the operation.
 

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