Memorial service for men who died in glider crash in Somerset during wartime

Air cadets at the service. Picture: Flt Lt Chris Garratt

Air cadets at the service. Picture: Flt Lt Chris Garratt - Credit: Flt Lt Chris Garratt

A memorial service for 23 men who died in World War Two was held in Weston-super-Mare.

A service at the cemetery in Milton Road was organised to remember 23 men who were killed when a glider crashed in a meadow in Paulton.

The crash was caused by an explosion, which blew off the tail section, and a sergeant who witnessed it recalled how the glider ‘fell like a rock’.

The men had been travelling to Arnhem in the Netherlands, and they were the first casualties of the Battle of Arnhem, a major offensive featured in Richard Attenborough’s film A Bridge Too Far.

They were buried with honour at the cemetery in Milton Road.

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Members of the armed forces, the Weston branch of the Royal British Legion and the air cadets laid a cross of remembrance on each of the graves at a well-attended service.

Relatives have been traced for 14 of the men, and they attend memorials every year.

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