Day 2
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Day 2 was spent in the area of Oosterbeek and Arnhem where the 1st Airborne Division were operating.  The weather had turned, making it an altogether colder and wetter day, but what the hell, it always rains on battlefield tours!
First stop was the memorial erected in memory of the British 1st Airborne Division.  The memorial is outside the Airborne Museum in what was Major General Urquart's HQ in the old Hartenstein Hotel.  The original stone was laid by Urquart on 25th September1945, exactly a year after his force was evacuated from north of the river.  The memorial was finished in 1946, and is showing some erosion on the decorated panels.  I took this photo of one of the panels, and reduced it to black and white as I feel it fits the mood better than a colour shot.

A 17lb gun used by 1st Airborne and a Sherman tank that would have been with 30 Corps.  Both photos taken outside the Museum.

The back of the Hartenstein, now the Airborne Museum.  The rain had just started.

These photos show a couple of the dropping and landing zones used on 17th September for the first wave.  It's open heath-land, good for parachute and glider landings.

This shot is taken from the ridge at the Westerbouwing restaurant and overlooks the Driel-Heveadorp ferry.  This was at the western extremity of the perimeter of the area held by Urquart, and fell to the Germans on the 21st September.  The importance of holding this position was not appreciated early in the operation, they were more intent on gaining the bridge.  Hindsight has shown this to have been an oversight.  Nijmegen is in the area of the ridge on the skyline, it can be clearly seen from the Westerbouwing.
The photo below shows the Arnhem bridge, now known as John Frost Bridge after the commander of 2nd Parachute Battalion who held the north (Arnhem) end of the bridge for considerably longer than expected, before being over-run by the Germans.



The book on the left is a German view of the assault; both books available through Amazon by clicking on the cover photos.

Shot taken on the bridge looking south, from the position of all the shot up vehicles in the film 'A Bridge Too Far'. Richard on Arnhem Bridge, again, making a point in answer to a question.
The church at Oosterbeek was in the perimeter held by Urquart before they pulled back over the river.  The Church was badly knocked about, and bears many scars from the battle.  Inside, most of the church is dedicated to the Airborne troops who parachuted in that September in 1944.  It is a lovely old church and should be visited by anyone in the area.  After the church we moved off to visit the cemetery in Oosterbeek.  It poured with rain making the visit all the more poignant.

The church and the fields behind it looking towards the river.

Grave of Flt. Lt. David 'Lummy' Lord, VC.  The only RAF VC of the battle.   Grave of Capt. L.E. Queripel, 10th Battalion Parachute Regiment.

The three headstones in the centre of the group of five are collective graves.  The remains of the servicemen buried under each stone are known, but the bodies were in such a state that it was not possible to give a separate grave for each.  Of the three headstones, the one in the centre commemorates three men, those on either side are for two men each.  I also saw one grave with the inscription 'believed to be' and then the name.  This is rare as a stone is only raised with a name when the CWGC are positive of the identification of the person buried there. 
The Times for May 10, 2005, carried an obituary to Wing Commander 'Buster' Briggs .  Briggs was one of the first pilots to fly a Halifax bomber towing a Horsa glider 1,400 miles from Cornwall to Morocco in preparation for Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, which he took part in.  The tugs for the three gliders that captured Pegasus Bridge and Briggs was awarded a DFC for his part in the operation.  In September 1944 he commanded 298 Squadron towing gliders for the Arnhem landings.