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Relics from Arnhem

Article about: Hi Guys, over the past 14 years I have been visiting Arnhem at least once a year, sometimes more than that. The battle is a particular interest of mine as you might have guessed. These are a

  1. #1

    Default Relics from Arnhem

    Hi Guys, over the past 14 years I have been visiting Arnhem at least once a year, sometimes more than that. The battle is a particular interest of mine as you might have guessed.

    These are a few of the items I have picked up there. (I should add that metal detectors are banned in the area, with just a few licenced people being allowed to use them under strict rules.) All these items were obtained by field walking or were gifts and in one case, purchased.

    As you can see, I like to display the items in small boxes together with a printed label affixed, so that they are just not peices of rust, and are recorded for the future. The frames can be bought very cheaply from any IKEA store.

    The first item I will show was actually purchased from the Dutch Aircraft Recovery Group at their excelent museum loacated at Deelen Airfield, just north of Arnhem. This is only open at weekends and is well worth a visit. (I have some pics if anyone is interested.) About 10 years ago they were given a special dispensation to dig on the crash site of Ft.Lt David Lord VC DFC "Dakota" aircraft. The story of him winning his VC by flying into to drop supplies is legendary. Despite being hit and his aircraft on fire he went around for a second time in order to try and drop his supplies accuratly. He and all but one of his crew were killed in this brave attempt. This is a peice of his aircraft sold by the group in order to raise funds for the museum. I was happy to contribute towards this good cause and bought one of the few remaining larger sized peices they had left.

    As you can see, some of the green paint is still in good condition.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Arnhem relics 003.jpg   Arnhem relics 001.jpg  


  2. #2

    Default Re: Relics from Arnhem

    The "Hotel Tafelberg" was a big landmark in the battle. It was FM Model's HQ hours before the battle began and during the battle it became a field hospital.

    I went around the building in 2002, when it's future was in doubt but some "Hippies" were living there on a cheap rent from the local council. Luckly one guy was really interested in the battle and gave us a guided tour.

    The building stood very much un-altered until 2003/2004. Despite many pleas to save it whole and untouched, it was basically pulled down, with just the front facade of the building being keep intact.

    Myself and many other historians of the battle were horrified by this act, plus the builders just destroyed most of the features which survived the battle and which can be seen in the 1946 film "Their's is the Glory" The only good thing was the builders were quite happy for us to go into the building and remove anything we wished. But the damge had already been done.

    Here you see fragements of stained glass and lead from the entrance hall rear window together with a peice of marbel floor from the same place. This floor was actually still blood stained in some places, or so the story goes..

    Also shown is a pre war picture postcard and a pic I took in 2003. The other one in B&W shows two friends of mine in the basement kitchen. The cupboards can be seen in the 1946 film.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Arnhem relics 002.jpg   Arnhem-2003.-025.jpg  

    Tafelberg.jpg   Tafelberg5.jpg  


  3. #3

    Default Re: Relics from Arnhem

    Quote by Adrian Stevenson View Post
    It was basically pulled down, with just the front facade of the building being keep intact.
    I'am hearing the same story all across Europe. It's a good thing that you where able to preserve some pieces Adrian. What was their reason for pulling the structure down?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Relics from Arnhem

    Hi Nick, for many years after the war it was used as a home for retired priests. The building was bought by a devolper and "converted" to luxury apartments. Oosterbeek was and still is an affulent area and property fetches very good prices. So, as you might guess the reason boils down to one thing, money! As you aproach the building it does look good and it is not until you get close do you realise the rest of the building has gone.

    A Dutch friend spoke to the builders and they kindly cut him a section from the original doorstep. This is now his doorstep. Just think of FM Model and all the British Airborne guys who walked over it. He has now got it installed as his doorstep. I think the builders though we were nuts!

    Cheers, Ade.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Relics from Arnhem

    Polish DZ "K" .. November 2002 !

    G.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture DZ K - Remains crpp.JPG  

  6. #6

    Default Re: Relics from Arnhem

    Here is a small section of Parachute "silk" ground dug from the Polish Drop zone opposite the village of Driel. This drop zone was built on with new housing a few years ago. Good preservation due to the ground conditions.

    This is stored in a double sided glass frame, again an IKEA product.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Arnhem relics 004.jpg  

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Relics from Arnhem

    Drop containers .. DZ "K" ..
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Dz Driel 6 Low res.jpg  

  8. #8

    Default Re: Relics from Arnhem

    I was hoping you would spy this thread Gary

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Relics from Arnhem

    Ah Ha !!! Polish items it is then Ade !!

    .. Jam (Marmalade) plywood resupply box (DC3) ... from Driel !!!
    .. One of the Paratroopers stuffed it full of apples from the orchards when leaving Driel ... AND !!! he kept the box for 60 years !!

    G.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture jam.jpg  

  10. #10

    Default Re: Relics from Arnhem

    That is a great item Gary. I love it! It never fails to amaze me the type of items which get kept for all these years.

    Here are a few more of my relics. These 9mm and 7.92mm bullets, plus a peice of shrapnel which were found around the entrance to "the tunnel".

    This is actually a water culvert and runs beneath the railway line embankment, through which General Hackett's 4th Parachute Brigade made thier way into the Arnhem perimeter.

    This is a favourite spot with all British Airborne re-enactors and every year we drive our Jeeps through the tunnel and take a group photo. As you can see, there is just room for a Jeep to get through.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Arnhem relics 005.jpg   Inside tunnel.JPG  

    Arnhem 2005 081.jpg   Arnhem 2006 036.jpg  


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