Cadets and Staff from 29(F) Rugby Squadron recently returned from The Netherlands where they took part in the 69th Annual Airborne Commemorative March.
The march commemorates the 1944 battle of Arnhem where Allied forces parachuted behind enemy lines in order to fight against German forces retreating across Europe.
Rugby cadets were joined by around 60 other cadets and staff from the Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing, where together they followed the route taken by the 2nd battalion Parachute Regiment, during Operation Market Garden
Taking place every year, the cadets marched 15 kilometres through the Dutch towns of Arnhem, Oosterbeek and Wolfheze with more then 30,000 other people in attendance.
Starting in Oosterbeek, they joined others participating in the iconic march including other cadet forces, British and foreign regular forces, as well as members of the general public.
Part of the march also included a brief stop at Oosterbeek Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, where cadets laid a wreath at the Altar of Sacrifice to remember the fallen.
After the March cadet Lucy Dewar said: “It’s been a tough challenge but overall I’ve found it thoroughly enjoyable and I’d love to come again next year.”
Also part of the three day trip, the group toured the areas around Arnhem, visiting sites well known from the Second World War such as the bridges, and the surrounding area where allies fought for control.
During the trip cadets also visited the National War and Resistance Museum at Overloon, which is one of the oldest in Europe and famous for its large collection of military vehicles. .
Cadets also visited the Airborne Museum ‘Hartenstein’ in Oosterbeek., which during the battle the building was the headquarters of the British forces fighting in and around Oosterbeek and Arnhem.
Rugby Squadron Commanding Officer Flight Lieutenant Gillian Short said: “It’s excellent that our cadets have been able to represent Rugby Squadron at this event.
“The cadets have all found the trip both educational and enjoyable.”
Image 1: Cadets salute the 10th battalion Parachute Regiment memorial in Ousterbeck as they mrch past.
Image 2: A cadet places a wreath at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery Ousterbeck, Holland.
Image 3: Cadets from 29(F) Rugby Squadron cadets after completing the Airborne commemorative March in Ousterbeck, Holland.
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