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One for Adrian, 21st Birthday under fire!

Article about: Hi, Adrian, this is my favourite Arnhem group :-) Signalman Graham Marples Royal Signals Droped at Arnhem and celebrated his Birthday there under fire!!! He's in here somewhere; Here are his

  1. #1
    UnknownSoldier
    ?

    Talking One for Adrian, 21st Birthday under fire!

    Hi,



    Adrian, this is my favourite Arnhem group :-)

    Signalman Graham Marples Royal Signals

    Droped at Arnhem and celebrated his Birthday there under fire!!!

    He's in here somewhere;



    Here are his gongs and signals e&e lanyard.



    Here is his interview in the Derbyshire Times,



    I also have the hip-flask hi parents gave him on the 22/9/44

    Tom

  2. #2

    Default Re: One for Adrian, 21st Birthday under fire!

    Wow, what a birthday to drop into that hell, the film did not portrait the real horror that them lads went into.
    Ben

  3. #3

    Default Re: One for Adrian, 21st Birthday under fire!

    Very nice Tom! This is a great little group.

    Cheers, Ade.

  4. #4
    UnknownSoldier
    ?

    Default Re: One for Adrian, 21st Birthday under fire!

    "Marples celebrated his 21st Birthday on Friday, the 22nd of September. He was then in the cellar of a house on the KOSB section of the perimeter with three other Signalmen, the section leader, Cpl. Philip "Pip" Day, Signalman Phil Smith and Jack Hanratty.
    "I had forgotten all about it until Day, I think, said wasn't it my Birthday? Someone had a tin of that hard Christmas pudding left and we opened it and divided it into four parts and ate it without cooking it. Everyone wished me a happy Birthday and I wondered if I'd live to see another one."

    Marples had gone in with the first lift on Sunday. There were three signalmen, including himself, in the tail of the Horsa glider, which was also carrying a jeep and six KOSBs in addition to the two glider pilots.

    They had cast off and were coming in for a normal landing when Marples suddenly felt the glider lift. He looked out just in time to see them clear a wood. They circled and came back toward the LZ, "but by then we had run out of wind."

    "I looked out of one of the portholes and could see trees underneath us. The next thing I knew I saw trees coming through the glider floor. They just ripped the floor to pieces and the next thing I knew, we nosed over and came down. I could hear everything breaking up, like taking a handful of dry twigs and snapping them. We came down square on our nose and the remarkable thing was no one was hurt other than a few scrathces and bruises." Marples learned from the lgider pilot later that he had pulled to avoid colliding with with another glider that had gone in below them.

    With the KOSBs Marples stayed at the DZ to help protect it for the next days droppings of the 4th Brigade. He remembers that Monday, before the drop, he and a few others went forward to the top of a wood where either a platoon or a company was supposed to be.

    Wire had been layed the previous day, but there had been no contact with [them] for several hours.
    "We went up to see what was wrong and I think that was the first time I had ever really understood fear. When we got to where we were supposed to be, there was nobody. It was quiet and deserted, not a sign of anyone. We looked around and then raced back. I think someone told me later that [the people from the outpost] had been overrun and compleetely wiped out by the Jerries."

    Later that day, Marples took part in the bayonet charge across the open DZ to clear the Germans out of the wood. He remembers the planes were by then on top of them and some of the paratroopers had already begun jumping.

    "We moved across with outr bayonets in front and just went into the wood. There didn't seem to be too much opposition. Jerry probably saw us coming and got out. I do recall some of the chaps wearing their red berets and that might have had something to do with it because we were told Jerry had a particular fear of the "red Devils." Myself, I wore my helmet."

    Graham even heard the Pipes of the KOSBs skirling across from their RV.

    These are his own words from an interview he did in the 80's.

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