Double Hills Arnhem Remembered

by Jim Trayhurn

Along with the Victory Show in Cosby and Brize Norton’s Families’ Day, the weekend of the 2nd to 4th of September was a busy one for the Historic Flight. Sunday’s task for the Scout was to the Double Hills Commemoration near Paulton, in North East Somerset.

For those of you who are not aware of what happened on Double Hills at 11.30am on Sunday the 17th September in 1944, it is unfortunately one of great tragedy. Twenty-one men of the 9th Field Company and two pilots from the Glider Pilot Regiment (GBR) died when their glider – RJ112 – crashed whilst on route to Arnhem as part of Operation MARKET GARDEN, the story of which was made into a film called ‘A Bridge Too Far‘. 

There is a strong group of loyal volunteers, led by Peter Yeates, who are the driving force behind the event to commemorate the lives of those brave men. Over the years, the event has been attended by many dignitaries from senior officers from the AAC, surviving members of the GBR, previous Chiefs of the General Staff and Members of Parliament. This was the forty-third year of the event and, whilst the AAC were unfortunately unable to attend, there was a large turn-out from the usual loyal supporters.

The Double Hills Memorial with all in attendance

The HAAF’s moto of ‘Let Their Glory Not Fade’ could not be more apt when it comes to the reasons for its strong links to Double Hills. Over the years, the Flight has attended with both airborne and static displays and this year was no different, with the Scout tasked to the event. The Guest of Honour, Vincent Hart was also flown in to the event from a local HLS at the request of the organisers.

Jim Trayhurn (left) with Guest of Honour, Vincent Hart (centre) and

the driving force behind the event, Peter Yeates (right)

Buglers from the event take the opportunity for a photo next

to XT626 before it departs back to Thruxton Airfield 

With the Guest of Honour delivered, a moving ceremony complete, guests shown around the aircraft and plenty of photos taken, the only thing left was to depart the event and return the Scout back to the HAAF’s temporary base for the weekend at Thruxton Airfield. We hope to be back in 2023 to support this important event.