2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the battle at Arnhem and at Woodhall Spa work has been going on for a fitting memorial to a battle that was deemed ‘a bridge too far’.
Three battalions who endeavoured to take the bridge at Arnhem were based and trained in Woodhall Spa - many elderly residents can recall the many leaving and the few returning.
The severity of the fighting can be seen by the casualty records - 1st Border Regiment 2nd South Staffs Regiment 7th Kings Own Scottish Borderers deployed 788 - 767 - 765, returned 235 - 124 - 76, killed 121 - 85 - 112, missing 432 - 558 - 577 .
One of the activities planned by the Arnhem Commemoration Steering Group is to install a commemorative stained glass window in St Peter’s church at Woodhall Spa.
The window design was produced by a Woodhall Spa Parachute regiment veteran, who was a member of the Lincoln branch of the Parachute Regimental Association.
The branch is working with volunteers to raise the money needed for the window, together with a number of associated community events and informative exhibitions.
The most recent event was a raffle, drawn at last week’s Christmas Market.
Co- Chairman of the steering group, David Gratrick said: ‘We have had such a positive public response to our appeal so far, the raffle has resulted in thousands of tickets being sold throughout the UK and a number of donations being given.
“The total raised is over £7,000, which is a fantastic result.
“We extend our thanks local businesses, who have donated raffle prizes, given donations and sold raffle tickets for us; the Woodhall Spa Parish Council, who gave us a small start-up grant, and our two District Councillors.
“We would also like to thank everyone who bought the tickets”.
The raffle draw was held by kind permission in The Mall Public House and restaurant.
The first prize of a taxi ride in the Avro Lancaster went to ticket number 02364, while the second prize of a two-night stay at The Petwood Hotel went to ticket 01587.
The 4x4 experience went to 05104, £100 cash to 02039, the £50 Teahouse in the Woods voucher to 04034 and the fleece jacket to ticket number 06149.