Friday, May 29, 2020

Help needed ahead of 75th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem

The organisers of a day-long commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem are appealing for help with a musical manhunt.

Woodhall Spa residents Tony Woodrow and Jackie Goodall have planned a packed programme of events to mark the occasion. A specially commissioned stained glass window will be unveiled at St Peter’s Church, there will be a fly pass by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, an open-air concert and a free cinema screening. However, one thing currently eludes them – a marching band.

Jackie said: “The majority of the troops that took part in the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden were based in Woodhall Spa, and we think it is incredibly important that we mark the 75th anniversary of the events as best we can.

“We have received incredible support from numerous organisations, but one thing that we’ve not been able to find so far is a marching band that is free on Sunday 18th August and willing to parade with veterans, their families and current members of our armed forces. If anyone knows of a marching band or is a member of a marching band and would be willing to join us on the day, it would be great if they could get in touch with us by emailing goodall.jackie@gmail.com.

“As well as a marching band, we would also like to hear from bands or solo musicians who would like to perform at our afternoon concert. We currently have Sparkle and Coningsby Wives Choir on the bill along with several other local acts, but we have room for more and would like to feature as many performers as possible.”

Operation Market Garden sought to secure major bridges that would allow ally troops to travel through Holland towards Germany. Three battalions who endeavoured to take the bridge at Arnhem were based and trained in Woodhall Spa – many elderly residents can recall the many leaving and the few returning.

The central focus of this year’s commemorations will be unveiling a new stained glass window at St Peter’s Church. The design was created by a serving World War II paratrooper and is currently being produced by Glen Carter, as a result of the organisers raising over £10,000.

For more information about the Battle of Arnhem and Woodhall Spa’s involvement along with details of the day’s activities, please visit https://www.facebook.com/Woodhall-Spa-to-Arnhem-75th-Commemoration-2135377943441465/

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