Local stories are wanted to enhance Folkingham event to mark WW2 Battle of Arnhem
After the success of the Threekingham Viking Festival, the team of enthusiasts are now preparing to stage a Second World War event in September at Folkingham to commemorate the brave paratroopers that were airlifted from the nearby the village airfield.
USAAF Base 484 Folkingham, along with many others, was involved in the largest airborne mission in history - the ill-fated mission to Arnhem 80 years ago.
On the morning of September 17 1944 the 313th Troop Carrier Group flew out a major airlift of US GIs, dropping them behind enemy lines. Operation Market Garden saw troops dropped into Holland to speed up the Allied forces’ advance, but they were hit by a German counter attack immortalised in the film, ‘A Bridge Too Far’.
Ahead of the event, the team are looking to research local stories.Alison Carr from the history group explained: “We are keen to get local stories from people.”
Over the weekend of September 14 and 15, Folkingham village centre will be turning the clock back to 1944 as Folkingham Remembers Operation Market Garden, aiming to bring the surrounding villages to life in
The Aveland History Group is keen to find anyone who may have memories of the wave of GIs that came to the locality ahead of their mission – were you a child who asked “got any gum, chum” or perhaps you have an aunt or cousin who was swept away as a GI bride and now your family has relatives across the Atlantic? Were land girls billeted in your home?
Perhaps your mother was a land army girl who came to Lincolnshire and never went home again?
Or maybe a great-grandfather was on hand when a German bomber was brought down? Were family members busy providing homeland security as part of the “Dad’s Army” mustering to keep our country safe?
Family stories and photos would be greatly appreciated, as they aim to bring to life “true stories” from the villages. If you have something to share, email: [email protected] or find them on Facebook.
Their Aveland Archive www.avelandarchive.org.uk also has some initial images from the period.
Over the September weekend, Folkingham will host a range of activities, from musicians, entertainers and re-enactors along with a wide range of kids activities, street theatre and crafts. For the committed historians, there will be some in depth lectures to learn more about how this area of Lincolnshire played its part during this pivotal year. There will be an extended circuit through fields adjacent to the village centre, displaying military vehicles and camping, all in sight of the original airfield site.