A Story of Arnhem, by 3861924 S/Sgt W. Holcroft, The Glider Regiment, with a preface by Peter Marshall
Published privately by the Cricklade Historical Society in 2004, 62 pages. A5 size booklet (N6077X2)
From the preface: When we first came to Cricklade..... the former wartime airfield, Blakehill Farm.... I learned that the airfield had been first used for the Allied Forces re-invasion of Europe in June 1944. RAF 233 Squadron, serving with 46 Group Transport Command, towed gliders, with their payloads of airborne troops and equipment, to the dropping and landing zones of Normandy. Initial task accomplished, the squadrons of Transport Command flew sortie after sortie to carry supplies to the forces on the ground. With a volunteer WAAF Detachment of Air Ambulance Orderlies (the "Flying Nightingales"), they returned to base with wounded men evacuated from the battlefields for life-saving treatment at home.
In September 1944 Blakehill Farm saw further action when the Dakota DC-3 planes (tugs) of 233 RAF and 437 RCAF Squadrons again hauled their glider payloads into the skies and headed for the ill-fated rendezvous near Amhem and the "bridge too far" in an ambitious attempt to storm Germany before the winter set in. The story of that raid has been told and re-told by many who are better qualified than I am.
It was at my home that former Glider Pilot T.R. "Tommy" Moore MM called clutching the typewritten manuscript of this personal story written by his good friend and comrade Walter Holcroft. A gentleman to his fingertips, Tommy had been introduced to me by another ex-GPR man, Harry Howard. He, like Walter and Tommy, served with the Glider Pilot Regiment in 2 Wing, "F" Squadron, a unit divided between Blakehill Farm and Broadwell in Oxfordshire.... he quietly told me that Walter had died, leaving him in possession of his Amhem account. He went on to explain that Walter's account was written immediately after his return from Amhem. Events at Arnhem remained fresh in his mind as he wrote....
The condition of the booklet is generally very good. The covers are clean and tidy, the staple spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tighly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover.
Please note the booklet was published and printed privately, and so lacks the 'finish' of a more professional publication - i.e the page leaves extend a little from the card covers - but none of this detracts from the fascinating contents!