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Army major steps down from role in Airborne March in Holland
AFTER three decades, a retired Army major has stepped down from his role of organising British involvement in the annual Airborne March in Holland.
For 30 years, Tony Trown has taken army personnel and cadets to the march, which commemorates the bravery of British soldiers at the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944.
Nearly 2,000 British and Polish troops died in the ultimately doomed operation, during which troops were parachuted behind enemy lines to capture vital bridges on the Germany/Holland border.
Mr Trown, 75, of Hackwood Lane, Cliddesden, took more than 400 British people to this year’s march at Oosterbeek, near Arnhem, which was attended by around 30,000 Dutch people.
He said: “Thirty years is a long time and it is long enough. I’ve had some life changes which I cannot do anything about and I thought it is now time to pack it up. But it has been a privilege to take all these people over every year.”
The Airborne March started in 1946 as a way for Dutch people to honour those who tried to liberate them from Nazi rule.
Mr Trown, who served in the Royal Fusiliers as part of the Territorial Army, first went on the march in 1981 and was asked one year later to organise its British involvement.
To recognise his long service, Mr Trown, pictured, was made an honorary member of the Airborne March Committee, an honorary citizen of Renkum, near Arnhem and was given a clock. He also received a trophy from the Aldershot Branch Regimental Association.
He told The Gazette : “It was very nice and humbling. I will never stop going over as it means so much to me to pay homage to these brave, fighting men.”