Arnhem 1944 Fellowship - Company Message

News Archive


Revisiting Theirs Is The Glory Battlefield Walk by Graham Francis
This photo taken in de Tafelberg shows Niall sandwiched between Gerry Dimmock and Allan Smith.

The afternoon following the Arnhem Fellowship AGM saw the inimitable Niall Cherry lead the second annual walk. The subject was that most memorable of British war Films, Theirs is the Glory. A unique piece of cinematography, combining as it did archive 1944 footage with scenes shot in 1945, using survivors of the battle, on the sites of the battle. Over sixty people were in attendance, when Niall kicked off proceedings at the Oosterbeek Old Church. He introduced our special guest, Allan Smith, great nephew of the film’s director, Brian Desmond Hurst. Allan’s enthusiasm and passion for the film was soon evident and he regaled those present with a series of fascinating insights into the making of the film. He explained how Brian, a veteran of Gallipolli, had been determined to honour and reflect the experiences of the soldiers at Arnhem and spent many hours recording their stories and memories. He illustrated the talk with a number of stills taken from the film, as did others present. Allan is making a documentary on the making of the film and is keen to identify all 200 participants and to meet any veterans still surviving. After describing the scene at the Church, including the famous Lonsdale speech, we moved on to Weverstraat. Resident expert, on all things Arnhem, Robert Voskuil described the situation there in both 1944 and in 1945 when the street, together with a destroyed German tank, were used for several scenes. We moved northwards via Jagerkamp and Paasberg before turning into Pietersbergseweg, where the exploits of the late Tony Crane were described. We were then privileged to be invited inside the Tafelberg, where Niall and Allan stood on the historic staircase to tell the story of the building, in both the battle and the film. No one present could have failed to be moved when Allan related how in 1945, veterans used breaks in filming to walk the grounds and identify the sites of the field burials of their fallen comrades. There was just time for a visit from Arnhem and film veteran, Gerry Dimmock, before we concluded. Thank you to all present, to Robert Sigmond for a splendid souvenir booklet and to Niall, Robert and Allan for providing such an enjoyable afternoon. I look forward to seeing Allan’s documentary, but in the meantime roll on 2013 and the 3rd annual walk.     

New memorial

Chris Gryzelka spoke at the AGM about his efforts to try and get a memorial post to the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron placed in the Oosterbeek area. The Fellowship are supporting this plan and have written a letter of support to the powers that be. Drawings of the proposed memorial.

Click the images below to enlarge

New promotional products now available
After many months of negotiating with suppliers you now have the opportunity to purchase some of the products showcased at last year's AGM and, in doing so, help support the Fellowship.Reversible fleeces/JacketsPolo shirts (men's & ladies)Ties
Author Colonel Gerrit Pijpers OBE presents the first signed copy to Pat

                  Added on 28/09/2013
I hope members will agree that the commemoration weekend was a success with the Fellowship slowly but surely gaining stength. I was pleased that we supported the (successful) campaign to get the Recce Squadron Memorial 'officially approved' even if several ' obviously well informed and knowledgeable' individuals have posted on the internet that the Fellowship was not involved. A special mention to our member Chris for being the driving force behind this. Thanks to our Dutch members Bob and Jon for sending me a number of photos from the weekend which I have added to the Arnhem 2013 page.
I would like to mention again Robert Sigmond and RN Sigmond Publications for the magnificent guide book for the Fellowship walk. A few copies are still available and if interested please contact the Fellowship. 


Added on 27/07/2013
New page added regarding Veterans Information. The Fellowship is pleased to announce that a small group of their members have agreed to share information on veterans that they have obtained over the years and if interested you are kindly directed to this new page called 'Requests for Information.'
The Fellowship has been working with the No 1 Parachute Training School PJI Association and Airborne Assault Duxford on obtaining from a ‘private source’ the ‘Guest Book’ of No 1 PTS by its first commander Squadron Leader later Wing Commander Newnham. It was arranged for the book to be digitally photographed and the Fellowship is being allowed to sell discs with these images. The disc totals around 90 images and contains numerous inscriptions from visiting servicemen and dignitaries, photographs, newspapers cuttings and a record of the then OC’s own parachute descents. There is also a photographic record of the first descent into water and has photographic records of visits by King George VI, Winston and Clementine Churchill and Major General Roy Urquhart, Important signatories include George Duke of Kent, Alan Brooke, shortly before he became Chief of the Imperial General Staff and Churchill's chief military advisor. Other signatures include from an Arnhem/Airborne perspective Gale, Urquhart, Des Voeux, Smyth, F/Sgt Cox of Bruneval fame and Micky Thomas the CO of the 11th Parachute Battalion.
Priced at £10 only to Fellowship members plus £1.50 postage in the UK, £2 Europe and please ask for other destinations. Payment by Paypal is subject to a 5% surcharge due to their commission charges.
The proceeds from sales are being split between the Fellowship and Airborne Assault.
As some of you may be aware who attended the
Theirs is the Glory walk in September 2012 the event was filmed and a short video is available to watch on-line via the following link:

5th December 2011
We have received a communication from Magdalena Dzierzanowska, a great niece of Wojciech Grazul, the Polish engineer whose headstone we helped restore along with the Durham PRA.
See her message in the Guest Book area.
26th September 2011
At the risk of upsetting our first Chairman I thought you might like to be aware that at a special dinner in Heelsum on Saturday 17/09/2011 hosted by the Colonel Commandant of the Parachute Regiment Major-General J Shaw (but known to some of us as OC 6 Platoon B Company 3 Para in 1982) presented the 'Hibbert Sword' to Tony in recognition of all his work for the Airborne Forces. Tony was asked at the dinner if he would consider giving the sword back to be presented annually to a young officer of the Parachute Regiment who displays the 'Hibbert Spirit'...he was happy to do this.
Also at the same dinner our Dutch representative Hiltje van Eck was presented with the 'Van Eck Poignard' by the British Ambassador to the Netherlands in recognition of her life-long support for Major Tony Hibbert and Veterans of the 1st Airborne Division who fought at Arnhem in 1944.
I'm sure we all wish Tony and Hiltje all the best as they look forward to a well-earned break!
Tony Hibbert accepts the "Hibbert Sword"
The 'Van Eck Poignard' presented to Hiltje van Eck
21st September 2011
The now restored headstone.
"As you can see, headstone of 'Gerry' Grazul has now been reinstated to as good as new. It is now guaranteed for the next 15 years. I thank you again on behalf of the Durham Branch PRA for your donation".
Dave Featherstone. Durham PRA.
A message of gratitude from Durham PRA for the donation by The Fellowship.
22nd August 2011
The Fellowship recently received a request from the Durham branch of the Parachute Regimental Association for assistance in repairing the headstone of a Polish veteran of the battle who had no known relatives.
The Fellowship was happy to provide a small sum towards the cost of repairs. Wojciech Grazul was a member of the Polish Engineer Company and died in 1995.
The trustees would welcome contact from any member (either at the meeting or by email) who feels they have the time and the skills to contribute to the Fellowship's development.