Veterans take a taxi to remember fallen comrades
09 May 2012
More than 150 British veterans of the Second World War are
making a special journey to the Netherlands to mark the end of the
Second World War.
They are travelling in 80 London taxis, on a trip sponsored
by the London Taxi Benevolent
Many of the veterans took part in Operation Market Garden - at
the time the biggest airborne assault in history - which was
Montgomery's brainchild for ending the war in 1944.
All the veterans have stories to tell. Sid Blackmore was in 2 Para, Wally Smith the Dorset Regiment and Jack Bruce was a glider pilot - click on
their names to discover their personal tales.
Ultimately the Operation Market Garden failed, because of
overstretched supply lines and fierce German resistance, typically
at Arnhem, where the British First Airborne Division were withdrawn
after holding their positions for nine days. The allies failed to
cross the Rhine in sufficient numbers and had to wait until the
Spring of 1945 to do so.
In the Netherlands May 4th is Remembrance Day, and the Market
Garden Foundation is holding a memorial service at Groesbeek which
the British veterans will attend.
The centrepiece of the service will be a Commonwealth War Graves
Commission headstone, of an Unknown Soldier of the Second World
War. The headstone has been provided for the occasion by the CWGC
Northern Europe Area, which is based at Ieper in Belgium.
A spokeswoman said "When the Market Garden Foundation asked us
to provide a headstone as a centrepiece for the memorial service we
were delighted to oblige. We arranged for the headstone to be
transported from our headquarters at Ieper. We felt it was
important for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to be
associated with this special occasion."
The majority of the British troops who gave their lives in
Operation Market Garden are buried in Arnhem
Oesterbeek War Cemetery or are commemorated on the Groesbeek