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Guest Fred Karno's Army

My first Airborne collection at 12 years old !

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Guest Fred Karno's Army

A blast from the past this was my first airborne collection this would be 1987 when I was 12 years old lol,after watching 'A Bridge too far' :D.The helmet I remember was 44 dated and also the Denison was 44 dated.

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Libertesoe
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1 hour ago, Ham & Jam said:

A blast from the past this was my first airborne collection this would be 1987 when I was 12 years old lol,after watching 'A Bridge too far' :D.The helmet I remember was 44 dated and also the Denison was 44 dated.

image.jpeg

Nice collection there H & J......back in the day........Had a nice Panzer wrap and MG 34 round about then...must dig out the pics. Thanks for sharing:)

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Davejb
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Original 44 dated para helmet and Denison smock, both worth a great deal of money now, and hard to find. Have you seen the All silk Denison in the Airborne Museum at Pegasus Bridge, the only one still in existence I think

 

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Guest Fred Karno's Army

I haven't seen that Dave,to be honest the last time I visited Pegasus Bridge it was in situ I am unsure about visiting these days remembering it as it was,we would go over 2/3 times a year,not only on the anniversarys etc. But with my disabilities these days I unfortunately have to admit it's unlikely I shall return.

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Guest Fred Karno's Army

My best airborne piece of that time was a glider pilots helmet I swopped for a deact Bren gun,back then a Bren was £225 lol,then I sold the helmet to a lad in Holland for £350 !.Thought I had done really well :$.

It comes,it goes lol.

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Davejb
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Well its worth the visit if possible , I spoke with Mdm Gonree at the cafe, she was 4 years old when the Paras took the bridge, and it was the first building liberated on French soil, I got her autograph on a menu and its framed, The bridge is now on a field next to the museum along with a complete mock up of a horsa glider,the museum is very well stocked and has some very rare pieces in there, and I know how hard it is to visit these places because of disability, walking around Omaha cemetary and all the other places of interest nearly did me in

 

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Guest Fred Karno's Army

Madame Gondree used to lift me up on her counter and force feed me chocolate biscuits lol,she was a lovely woman and always used to fuss me as I had blond hair and she considered it good luck,my fondest memory is having major Howard showing me how to strip a Bren gun down,it was hung on the cafe wall a semi relic that if I remember was Found in the pond in the early 80s where glider three landed,it was well documented.I would be around 7/8 years old.He always had time for you Maj Howard, and it never got tiring when he would lead me onto the landing site almost every time we visited and across the bridge explaining the action,especially to someone so young.I was in awe of him then and still am 35+ years later :).

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DAK D
On 15/03/2016 at 09:23, Ham & Jam said:

Madame Gondree used to lift me up on her counter and force feed me chocolate biscuits lol,she was a lovely woman and always used to fuss me as I had blond hair and she considered it good luck,my fondest memory is having major Howard showing me how to strip a Bren gun down,it was hung on the cafe wall a semi relic that if I remember was Found in the pond in the early 80s where glider three landed,it was well documented.I would be around 7/8 years old.He always had time for you Maj Howard, and it never got tiring when he would lead me onto the landing site almost every time we visited and across the bridge explaining the action,especially to someone so young.I was in awe of him then and still am 35+ years later :).

Hi @Ham & Jam,

You have some great kit and treasured memories and you met Major Howard too, it must have been fantastic to hear him tell you all about the combat and capturing  the bridge :)

I wish I had gone to France when the original bridge was where it should be now...

The prices for British Para / airborne kit have gone sky high and even an 1945 second pattern Denison smock is worth good  money these days.

D

 

Edited by DAK D

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Davejb
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A friend of mine used to be in 3 Para, he was also very involved in taking parties out to Normandy on tours, One such tour was at Merville Battery. He let the party wander around the site and went into the main casement to see the new exhibit, he had a book with him and was looking through it. There was an old gent standing next to him and happened to ask him if he was interested in what really happened, My mate said he was and so this chap walked through the whole area with him explaining what happened and where My pal thought that this guy must of been there during the battle as some of the facts that he was stating had,nt been heard of or written about, so he asked his name, LT Colonel OTWAY , the man that led the raid, Well my pal was in military heaven and later throughout the years was invited to many reunions with the survivors of the raid, In fact two of the Paras were within two miles from his home and one of them was the guy who threw the grenade into casement no/1, and you hear this in the re-enactment in the museum in casement 1, His name was Sid Capon and my friend spent many years and hours with him up until he died. Another interesting point is that before the Battery was opened as a museum, my pal and a couple of others went there. It was mainly overgrown but was being gradually cleared. He tripped over something in the long grass, it was a Bren gun, and he later donated it to the museum after a few years, and you can still see that  there. One of the people he was with had to take a leak and when he looked down there was this German Belt buckle, but that was kept. When I went there with him I had all the various actions of separate soldiers related to me

 

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