Dutch Sapper commemorates Op Market Garden 70 years on
Dutchman and British Army Engineer Lance Corporal Martin Charles Street, of 23 Engineer Regiment, has returned to the Netherlands as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade’s Operation Market Garden commemoration events, which include a large parachute drop over Ginkel Heath, near Arnhem tomorrow (Saturday).
Martin, 27, who hails from Maastricht near Eindhoven said: “We are here to mark the 70th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne operation in history. Seeing all the veterans walking around, talking to them and hearing their stories is wonderful.
The sapper, who has lived in the UK for 18 years, was visiting the John Frost Bridge, which crosses the River Rhine at Arnhem, and which was made famous in the film ‘A Bridge Too Far’ ahead of taking part in the mass parachute drop at Ginkel Heath.
He said: “I’m really excited to be jumping with the Dutch and getting my Dutch wings. I’ve been meaning to get my Dutch wings for a long time now. And I’m really excited to be jumping on the 70th anniversary of Operation Market Garden.
“Normally we jump out with a bergen, which will speed our descent and make the landings harder, but luckily tomorrow we are jumping clean fatigues - without the bergen - so we will be in the air a bit longer and enjoy it more.
“We are jumping with a static line and with the Dutch you have to hook yourself up. Then you just run out of the plane with a slap on the backside.”
Before cycling with his unit across the John Frost Bridge Martin said: “It’s a great honour for me in particular, to be here, because I was born and raised in Holland. I’m now part of the British Airborne and being here is amazing.”
Photographer: Richard Watt; Crown Copyright