The long and close association Everards Brewery has had with the armed forces was highlighted once again with the production of a new guest beer to help raise money for a memorial for the 10th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment.

Just as its flagship beer, Tiger, derived its name from the Leicestershire Regiment (the Fighting Tigers), the September 2017 brew ‘Myrtle’ is supporting the Friends of the Tenth campaign to erect a stone memorial in Somerby.

The full story of Myrtle can be found elsewhere on this website, but in short, Lt. Pat Glover of 10 Para wanted to prove that chickens could fly, so he acquired a red hen, Myrtle, in 1944.

Pat taught her to flutter down 300 ft on practice jumps, but at the Battle of Arnhem, the parachick was ‘Killed in Action’ along with the vast majority of the Battalion which was later disbanded as a result.

The brewing of Myrtle follows on from Tiger and also the occasion a few years back when Everards combined its brewing skills with an acknowledgement of the WW1 armistice when making Regimental its November special.

On Monday 21st August, Everards’ marketing staff, Claire Cannell and Kia Ryan, were on hand at the Cradock Arms in Knighton to launch Myrtle in the company of a small group from the Friends of the Tenth.

Although described as Amber Bitter, Myrtle is more akin to a Red Ale with the complexity and depth of colour that one associates with such beers.

Despite having no fruit in the brew whatsoever, the unusual characteristics peculiar to the Pilot and Flyer hops result in a distinct taste of dark summer fruits such as blackcurrants or blackberries and a roundness of “mouth feel” more associated with a red wine such as Merlot.

Remarkably, it also gives the impression of being far stronger than its 4% (abv) rating, so whilst very easy drinking, there is also something about it that makes you want to savour it respectfully and slowly. In short, exactly the sort of beer that would be perfect with a cheese board or pork pie to be honest.

Everards’ monthly beers are seldom available for more than a couple of years, but this one is most definitely deserving of several repeats, not only because I believe it’s the best new monthly they’ve created in three years, but also because of the reason for its existence.

You see, Myrtle did not die in vain and her name lives on because 5p per pint of this commendable brew will be donated by Everards to the Friends of the Tenth to boost their fund-raising for a permanent and fitting memorial in the Leicestershire village of Somerby to the brave young men of the 10th Battalion who were stationed there.

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FRIENDS of the Tenth are delighted to announce that Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Jennifer, Lady Gretton DCVO JP has become the group’s Honorary President.

Lady Gretton has accepted an invitation from Friends of the Tenth to be the figurehead leading the fund-raising campaign, which is committed to creating a stone memorial for the 10th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment close to where she lives in Somerby.

Friends of the Tenth is a group of like-minded people who recently launched the appeal to £75,000 to perpetuate the memory and legacy of the Battalion, which was stationed in Somerby in the lead-up to Operation Market Garden in the Battle of Arnhem in 1944.

“I feel very honoured to be asked to become President of the Friends of the Tenth, which is an amazingly worthy cause,” commented Lady Gretton.

“It is only right that we should do all we can to recognise the sacrifices these people made for this country by creating a lasting memorial in the village.

“In my role, I will certainly be encouraging people to support this fund-raising, so we can honour this very sad, but incredible story of their bravery.”

As Her Majesty the Queen’s representative in the county of Leicestershire, Lady Gretton’s role encompasses many different duties and responsibilities, one of which is to liaise with local units from the armed forces and their associated cadet forces.

This is a cause close to her heart because as a long-time resident of Somerby, she has been a member of the Committee of Somerby Parochial Church Council since 1991 and served as a Church Warden of All Saints Church from 1992-1995.

She is also Patron of five Parishes in Leicestershire and Staffordshire, and is patron or president of a wide range of local charities and organisations.

Alec Wilson, Chairman of the Friends of the Tenth group, commented: “We feel extremely privileged that Lady Gretton has agreed to help us in this way.

“It seemed only natural in the circumstances to ask her to be our President, so we are delighted she has accepted this invitation to join our group.”

He added: “We have been overwhelmed by the magnitude of support which we have already received in the initial stages of our fund-raising, and I know that Lady Gretton’s involvement can only give those efforts even more impetus.

“I would like to thank her for pledging that support and also express the group’s gratitude to everyone else helping us with our fund-raising mission.”

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A 95-YEAR-OLD Arnhem veteran has given his backing to the appeal to raise £75,000 for a stone memorial in honour of the 10th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment.

John Jeffries attended the annual Somerby Commemoration recently before heading out to Holland to recreate the parachute jump he made during the Second World War.

A member of the Royal Corps of Signals, he decided to come out of retirement to make two drops to help raise money for charity and also remember his fallen colleagues.

Those jumps made it a particularly special Arnhem commemoration, 73 years after he was shot and taken prisoner during Operation Market Garden over Holland.

“It’s wonderful to see the 10th Battalion being remembered in this way,” he said, before taking the salute during the parade at the Somerby Commemoration.

“We were like a band of brothers, and although I was in the Royal Signals, we operated alongside the 10th Battalion and 156 Battalion, so we got to know them well.

“Though it was wartime, we shared some wonderful times together. We were all in it together and we were just trying to do our jobs in very difficult times.”

He added: “I feel slightly embarrassed with all the attention these days, but I do believe it is important that people remember what happened out there.

“I go to schools and colleges to talk informally to young people about my experiences and so creating this lasting memorial to the 10th is fitting recognition.”

Jeffries undertook his first parachute jump with the Red Devils in Peterlee to raise money for the Northumbria Blood Bikes charity before then heading out to Arnhem for the second drop which took place as part of the annual commemorations in Holland.

“At least I wasn’t being shot at this time,” he said. “I wanted to parachute into Arnhem again to remember all the boys who weren’t so lucky.

“I consider myself to be the luckiest man in the world that I was able to survive, despite being shot in the backside. I have so much to be thankful for.

“I just hope people will give generously to this Friends of the Tenth appeal, so there is a permanent memorial to remember the boys with.”

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THOSE of you eager to sample the new Myrtle ale brewed by Everards in support of the Friends of the Tenth campaign will be interested to know the pubs where it is now in stock.

The family-run Leicestershire business have reported an excellent uptake of the ale in the first two weeks of September with 65 pubs already stocking the cask ale appropriately named Myrtle.

That figure is likely to grow over the coming days, due to the live nature of a cask ale meaning that pubs landlords must manage their stock very closely and then sell it as quickly as possible.

Therefore, the list below is of Everards pubs who have taken delivery of Myrtle recently and will be putting it on sale within the next few days once it has conditioned in the cellar.

Five pence from each pint of Everards’ latest, specially-brewed guest beer sold during the month of September will go towards the Friends of the Tenth fund-raising which aims to raise £75,000 for the creation of a stone memorial to the 10th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment.

In addition to the pubs listed below, Myrtle will also be available at the Stilton Cheese in Somerby during the annual Commemoration weekend from September 8th to 10th.

The pubs which have taken delivery are:

Admiral Rodney, Calverton

Anchor Inn, Hathern

Anne of Cleves, Melton

Architect, Cambridge

Barley Mow, Cosgrove

Barley Mow, Leicester

Black Boy, Headington

Black Horse, Aylestone

Black Horse, Foxon Street, Leicester

Bradgate, Newtown Linford

Bricklayers, Thornton

Brunswick Inn, Derby

Bull, Broughton Astley

Bulls Head, Whetstone

Bulls Head, Leicester Forest West

Carpenters Arms, Walesby

Cherry Tree, Little Bowden

Colleyweston Slater, Lincolnshire

Cricketers, Aylestone

Crown Inn, Uppingham

Crows Nest, Glenfield Road

Elephant & Castle, Thurlaston

Falcon Inn, Long Whatton

Free Trade Inn, Sileby

Globe, Leicester

Greendale Oak, Cuckney

Honeycomb, Derby

Horse & Trumpet, Wigston

Horseshoes, Nuneaton

Marquis Wellington, Leicester

Millpool, Coventry

Nags Head, Glenfield

New Albion, Wakefield

New Inn, Enderby

Old Horse, Leicester

Old Kings Head, Long Buckby

Plough, Duxford

Plough, Littlethorpe

Queen Victoria, Syston

Queens Head, Saddington

Queens Head, Watnall

Racehorse, Warwick

Red Admiral, Broughton Astley

Red Lion, Huncote

Royal Oak, Edwinstowe

Royal Oak, Kirby Muxloe

Sir Robert Peel, Leicester

Stamford Arms, Groby

Star & Garter, Wigston

Sun Inn, Gotham

Swann Inn, Braybrooke

Swann Inn, Fradley

Tram Depot, Cambridge

Unicorns Head Inn, Langar

Virgins & Castle, Kenilworth

Wheatsheaf, Dallington

Wheatsheaf, Thurcaston

White Hart, Great Houghton

White Hart, Headington

White Horse, Banbury

White Horse, Quorn

White Horse, Silverstone

White Swan, Stoke Golding

Wild Boar, Warwick

Willow, Thurmaston

*Please remember, it is worth checking with the pub you are planning to visit that Myrtle is on sale, as there is a short delay between the delivery and it being made available.

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