We have been contacted by a small number of very special people who were around Somerby in 1944 and remember the paras. Not only have they donated but also left some heart-warming (and humorous) recollections of those momentous times.

Marjorie Howlett recalled playing the organ in the local churches and being delighted when she was transported in Padre Raymond Bowers’ jeep. She remembers 10th Battalion’s ‘Monty’ Burton who lived next door to her in Burrough on the Hill.

Apparently, Monty would wrap a towel around his head like a turban and leap onto the horse, called ‘Blossom’, in the next field; galloping around and making Marjorie howl with laughter.

She goes on to tell of the tales of Burrough Court, the ‘goings-on’ of the aristocracy and the visits of the Prince of Wales and Mrs. Wallis Simpson, the Prince being a regular customer at Twyford Post Office!

It is sobering to note that Corporal Arthur ‘Monty’ Burton was part of the ‘last stand’ mentioned later in this article and although he survived, his left leg was amputated. The Reverend Captain Bowers, despite damaging his ankle on the Drop Zone, also survived and returned to Somerby in later years, on more than one occasion, to conduct the annual commemoration service.

We have received this very interesting and touching contribution from Michael Lee who lives in Wansford (near Peterborough). Michael is the only person we know of, who witnessed parachute drop exercises in the area in 1944.