Donation enables WW2 veteran to return to Arnhem
"I just wanted to pay my respects."
On September 20 2014, dozens of paratroopers from across Europe landed in certain fields in the Netherlands to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem.
One of the spectators that day was 94-year-old Jim Duplock, a former Private in the Parachute Regiment and one of the 10,000 men tasked in 1944 with capturing a bridge in the Dutch city of Arnhem against German forces.
Jim, a resident of one of emh group’s extra care schemes in Lutterworth, was able to make the trip thanks to a donation from emh group. Alison Anderton of Age Concern Lutterworth drove Jim and his motorised wheelchair to Arnhem in a specially-adapted vehicle.
Operation Market Garden saw Allied forces land behind German lines near Arnhem, where they were defeated after days of fighting. The battle was the inspiration for the Richard Attenborough film “A Bridge Too Far”.
As well as laying a wreath at the grave of his former Colonel in the town cemetery, Jim also visited the school playground where he had been captured by the SS, and took part in the anniversary parade.
It was an emotional journey for Jim, the first time he had been back to Arnhem in 70 years. “I just wanted to pay my respects,” he said.