No Return Flight,Book on 13Pltn 1 Border at Arnhem

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No Return Flight,Book on 13Pltn 1 Border at Arnhem

Postby Haks2009 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:33 pm

Cover definitief.JPG
The cover of the book
Cover definitief.JPG (63.49 KiB) Viewed 904 times
Do you know theres' a book (OK my book) on 13 Platoon, B Company, 1 The Border Regiment. It' s out since 2009 and now I have started work on a second edition.


'No Return Flight, 13 Platoon at Arnhem 1944' tells the story of the search for the men aboard a huge Horsa glider that sailed into the Battle at Arnhem on 18 September 1944. The battle is still in its early phase when the pilots of the British engineless plane wish their passengers good luck in their race for the Arnhem bridges. Both the pilots and the airborne troops go their separate ways and go about their tasks to carry out their orders, possibly never to see each other again.
54 years later one of the pilots, Sergeant Morley 'Taffy' Williams, visiting the Netherlands for the annual commemorations of the battle, meets a Dutch journalist. Williams talks about the wish that has been with him for many years to find out what happened to his passengers of that fateful flight to Arnhem. As the thought keeps haunting him now that he is well in his eighties, he asks the Dutch journalist to help him find them.
That request started a search that lasted more than six years and which in the end led to a new and moving personal story of the Battle at Arnhem. In captivating stories of what happened to them before, during and after the Battle, the airbornes give the reader a surprising and gripping view on the events. As a fascinating consequence, the search has led, more than 60 years after the event, to several unexpected renewed personal contacts between the pilot and some of his passengers and relatives. It also rekindled the search for several of Morley's passengers that are missing to this very day.


Check Amazon or your local book shop.
I'd love to hear your impression.
Thanks,
Haks
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Re: No Return Flight,Book on 13Pltn 1 Border at Arnhem

Postby hussar1000 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:24 am

Ooh looks interesting. I will have to bring this to the attention of the Christmas elves this year!
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Re: No Return Flight,Book on 13Pltn 1 Border at Arnhem

Postby Haks2009 » Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:53 am

Excellent Idea. Let's keep our fingers crossed then.! :-)

Here's a review to put the elves in a good mood;
This book was inspired by a wartime glider pilot, Morley Williams, wondering what had happened to the infantry platoon he had carried to Arnhem. The glider pilots and their passengers separated on the LZ, as per their drills, and Williams himself was taken prisoner a few days later: an experience he noted in a private manuscript entitled Stalag Days.

A Dutch journalist, Haks Walburgh Schmidt, read Stalag Days whilst working at the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek. He contacted Williams about using his manuscript in an exhibition and their correspondence developed to the point where Walburgh Schmidt agreed to search for Williams’ Arnhem passengers and discover their fates. From this kind offer, a lot of research was undertaken in order to write the story of one platoon at Arnhem.

The book begins with Morley Williams’ story of his wartime experiences: in training, at Arnhem and then in a PW cage. It then goes on to explain his post-war experiences and how he came to meet the author. The main part of the book details Walburgh Schmidt’s attempts to find and contact the men: his initial belief that that Internet would make this relatively simple was rapidly disabused! His search is long and, at times, frustrating: a number of the men could not be found, had died or were losing their memories. The last two parts of the book detail the Pl’s experiences during the war, as far as Walburgh Schmidt can reconstruct them, and then their post-war lives.

It transpired that Williams and his co-pilot carried 13 Pl, B Coy, 1 BORDERS into battle. This battalion held the western side of the Oosterbeek perimeter and B Coy held the Westerbouwing Heights above the Driel Ferry. Of the 23 soldiers that Walburgh Schmidt was able to positively identify as being members of 13 Pl, only four returned over the Rhine: the rest were dead, missing or prisoners. 13 Pl’s battle was short and sharp, with the German assault on the Westerbouwing Heights on 21st September accounting for most of the casualties. After the war, the survivors went their separate ways into a number of trades and jobs, ranging from joiner to assembling microchips for NASA. Some stayed in touch and others did not.

I’ve read a number of books about Arnhem, both the general campaign accounts and the more personalised stories: this book definitely falls into the latter half and is very much one of the better ones. Part of its appeal is most certainly the unusual reason for telling the story and another is that the author is unquestionably writing from the heart. The combination of these two factors makes it an enjoyable and touching story which was a pleasure to read from beginning to end.

This book is a translation from the Dutch original and there are a few places where the editor has slipped up but this does not detract from the book at all. The lack of an index or a list of illustrations (of which there are many) made individual cross-referencing a touch tricky.

That said, I really enjoyed this book. It wears its heart on its sleeve and tells a clear and direct story of one small group of men at Arnhem. Four out of five Mushroom Heads. http://www.arrse.co.uk/content/779-no-r ... hmidt.html
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Re: No Return Flight,Book on 13Pltn 1 Border at Arnhem

Postby plbramham » Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:40 pm

I am lucky enough to be going to Arnhem next spring. ( Check Leger holidays - battlefield tours, I think there's still places available) Do you know that the regimental museum in Carlisle has the restored cockpit of a "Horsa" glider? I believe ( somehow?) it had ended up as a " hen hut" in North Lancashire!"
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Re: No Return Flight,Book on 13Pltn 1 Border at Arnhem

Postby Haks2009 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:09 am

I live about 40 km from the Arnhem area. No, I didnt know that. That must be a great story how the cockpit ended up in the feathered airborne forces.
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Re: No Return Flight,Book on 13Pltn 1 Border at Arnhem

Postby plbramham » Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:08 pm

Interesting
I can only guess that perhaps - there were a lot of airfields in Cumbria and North Lancashire, that maybe it was a training glider that crashed?! There are a lot of former WW1 and WW2 Nissen type huts near me used as agricultural buildings. ( Come to think of it my school biology lab and the canteen were "reconstructed" WW1 buildings. Recycling is not new!)
I have always wanted to go to Arnhem, but for some reason trips from UK are not cheap. I have managed to find a reasonably priced 4 day trip.
My dad (obviously elderly) would have loved to come with me to Holland. He went there about 1950 on a boy scouts trip. Until last year (when she died) he always got Christmas card from a Dutch lady. Apparently her father was in the resistance and the Germans laid him in front of a tram to cut off his legs.
Regards Paul.
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Re: No Return Flight,Book on 13Pltn 1 Border at Arnhem

Postby kerchi » Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:13 am

I have now added this book to my wish list ( I already have a lot of books in this list). After having read about it further, it does sound interesting and a period I know nothing about. I have always been interested in WW1 but like Paul, I do have an interest also in the inter-war years and for me this is expanding. Whilst I am not first in the queue to buy anything WW2 related I am beginning to have more of an interest.

What intrigues me is the chance meeting in the first place that sparks the interest and enthusiasm to begin such an epic research project and, ultimately, bringing together old buddies that haven't seen each other for 60 years! That alone is impressive and makes it worthy of a read. So, one day soon I'll get round to buying it and see how the story unfolds.

On a separate note, quite shocking to hear about the resistance chap in your previous post Paul; a disturbing image and what a horrible way to go.
In memory of John Bardgett (15309 L/Cpl.), 11th Border Regiment who died 1st July 1916.

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Re: No Return Flight,Book on 13Pltn 1 Border at Arnhem

Postby Haks2009 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:38 am

Hi Kerchi en Paul,

Indeed, quite a horrible story. I don't know that story , so I can't confirm it or comment on it. The First World War didn't involve any Dutch forces and therefore has always had a lower impact than the Second world War.
The research for No Return Flight did take some persistence, but it was very rewarding. It felt like testing the ice on a pond when I was a kid. Take one careful step and see if it holds. Then, with equal care, take a next step.and so on. It took me some time to admit to myself that I wanted to write a book. Met so many friendly and impressive people. It was worth every second of it.
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Re: No Return Flight,Book on 13Pltn 1 Border at Arnhem

Postby kerchi » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:44 pm

Quite an achievement and something to be proud of. Maybe there'll be more in the pipeline? Other research projects?
In memory of John Bardgett (15309 L/Cpl.), 11th Border Regiment who died 1st July 1916.

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