Eddie was born on the 4-3-1920 in Southwark, London. <br />At the age of 20 on the 15-5-1940 he enlisted to join the 2nd World War.<br />At the time of enlistment he was recorded as being 5 ft 91/2 ins tall, 150 lb 34 chest with brown eyes.<br />
A Typical glider that Eddie was piloting. <br />
Letters home – A postcard<br />The postcard was a quick way of letting family know you were safe.<br />
Letters Home<br />Each letter is signed by an officer to ensure it does not contain important information.<br />
Letters from Eddie<br />Eddie replied to his Aunt’s letters as soon as he could.<br />
A worried Aunt...<br />Eddie’s Aunt Val wrote to him every week updating him about news at home, and showing concern about the war.<br />
Glider footage. Eddie would have been part of this fleet.<br />
Gliders taking off – was Eddie in one of these?<br />
Eddie’s last day.The Rhine Crossing (Operation Varsity)<br />For the planned Rhine crossing ((Operation Varsity) the 6th Airborne Division left its bases in England on the 24 March 1945, and flew to secure a bridgehead over the River Rhine at Wesel. <br />With almost the entire Division being deployed alongside the 17th Airborne Division, Operation Varsity was the largest single lift of airborne troops ever attempted. <br />Each of the three battalions of the 6th Airlanding Brigade were assigned different landing zones, with the Royal Ulster Rifles, arriving at Landing Zones's U, zones which encircled the town of Hamminkeln. <br />All units of the Division met with heavy fire as they came in to land, but no unit suffered as heavily as the 6th Airlanding Brigade; the slow moving gliders were vulnerable to anti-aircraft and machine-gun fire. <br />Also the Allied artillery bombardment had shrouded the area in smoke, making it very difficult for the glider pilots to identify their correct landing zones. In all, the Brigade suffered more fatalities during this landing than it had in the two and a half months that it had spent in Normandy.<br />
The reality of War.<br />The letters are all written by Eddie’s Aunt Val, and each one starts with “We are still hoping to hear from you soon” <br />But each one gets increasing more worried in its tone.<br />
A personal letter<br />Edgar Died aged just 25 years old.<br />
Eddie’s final resting place.<br />This photo was taken shortly after the Battle, and shows Eddie’s service number, rank and regiment. <br />The REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY is now looked after by the CWGC <br />And now looks like the picture above. As you can see the headstones are now more permanent. <br />
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