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Photos: 34th hills tribute to lost war glider crew

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: September 06, 2012

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Families and villagers gathered on a hillside on the edge of Paulton on Sunday to remember the first casualties of the Second World War battle for Arnhem.

It was September 17, 1944, when a glider on its way with airborne troops who were to help in the capture of the bridge at Arnhem broke up in the skies over Paulton.

The 23 troops, two glider pilots and 21 sappers who lost their lives were remembered at the 34th annual memorial service at Double Hills.

Taking part was Arnhem veteran Brigadier Michael Dauncey, 92, president of Double Hills.

The Brigadier was recommended for the Victoria Cross for his part in the campaign when as a young lieutenant with the help of two paratroopers he captured eight German soldiers before being hit and temporarily blinded in one eye.

He discharged himself from a first aid post to return to his position and the following day helped capture a German tank. Brig Dauncey later suffered a broken jaw after being injured in the face by a grenade.

Aircraft from the Historic Aircraft flight based at Middle Wallop flew past in tribute to the fallen crew to mark the beginning of the service.

Also taking part were members of 9 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers and the Army Air Corps as well as those of youth organisations who paraded with them.

The parade was reviewed by the Commanding Officer of 23 Engineer Regiment Royal Engineers ( Air Assault), Lieutenant Colonel Jason Hones.

Double Hills organiser Peter Yeates said the ceremony had been well attended by villagers as well as relatives of those who lost their lives in the crash.

Mr Yeates said: "We have had a lot of support from the people of Paulton who want to make sure that those servicemen who lost their lives are remembered."

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