The special relationship between the 216 Airborne Signals Regiment and the village of Caythorpe was remembered and celebrated at the weekend with the annual gala on the Saturday when the Paratroopers are welcomed to compete at football and tug of war with the villagers, before parading through the village for a memorial service on Sunday.
During 1944 the 1st Airborne Signals Regiment took part in Operation Market Garden, the bloody battle for the bridges of Arnhem. They were based in and around Caythorpe for training prior to the operation.
Survivors have continued to make a pilgrimage to Caythorpe - the regiment’s spiritual home - on the anniversary of Arnhem and they have been joined by their modern day equivalent, the 216 Signals Regiment, who visit annually and hold a memorial service for all comrades lost, combining with a Grand Gala Weekend.
The gala took place on the playing field marking the amenity’s 50th anniversary, with villagers dressing up in 1940s outfits for a competition and enjoying entertainment into the evening with last year’s Britain’s Got Talent finalists The D-Day Darlings.
Sunday morning saw a parade through the village by serving Paratroopers and veterans marking the battle’s 75th anniversary, with modern day troops applauding their forerunners into church.
(See page 24).