Info about the Garden overview!!!!!
The Grove starts at Annette's Memorial Way.
From the dark green post you will find a hardened surface grassed over which forms part of a central spine of the Grove to the Sun Room and onto the Falklands Memorial Way to finish at Pegasus Bridge Memorial Flight. which in in the Airborne Forces Garden 7.
Dr. John McCrae Tree Seat with the immortal "In Flanders Fields" Poem written in WW1
The Tree Seat was created from a giant Sequoia Red Wood in 2005 as part of the Breakaway Survival Tree Seat Project. In 2007 during the July floods it was floated down the River Tame from the Grove and ended up on a Municiple Footpath at Burton-on-Trent! It is bordered by Lavender with Golden Heart Ivy with Ferns growing in and around it. Just in front is a Blue Pine Tree.
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I, and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium.
He is best known for writing the famous war memorial poem "In Flanders Fields". McCrae died of pneumonia near the end of the war age 45 on January 8th 1918.
The Poem "In Flanders Fields" appeared in Punch Magazine anonymously on 8th December 1915. John McCrae was born on the 30th November 1872.
America's answer to John McCrae's poem was by R.A. Lillard.
Rest ye in peace, ye Flanders dead.
The fight that ye so bravely led
We've taken up. And we will keep
True faith with you who lie asleep
With a cross to mark his bed,
In Flanders Fields.
Fear not that ye have died for naught.
The torch ye threw to us we caught.
Ten million hands will hold it high,
And Freedom's light shall never die!
We've learned the lesson that ye taught
In Flanders Fields.
Rt. Hon. Airey Neave MP. First British Officer to escape from Colditz Castle during WW2.
This memorial was contributed by the family of Airey Neave who also provided the Amelanchia (Ballerina) Tree along with other plants to the Grove.
Airey Middleton Sheffield Neave, DSO, OBE, MC, TD (23 January 1916 – 30 March 1979) was a British soldier, lawyer and Member of Parliament.
During World War II he was the first British prisoner-of-war to succeed in escaping from Oflag IV-C at Colditz Castle, and later worked for MI9.
After the war he served with the International Military Tribunal at the Nuremberg Trials. He later became Conservative Member of Parliament for Abingdon.
Neave was assassinated in 1979 in a car bomb attack at the House of Commons. The Irish National Liberation Army claimed responsibility.
He was commissioned in 1935 as a Second Lieutenant in the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
He then joined the Royal Engineers in 1938 and at the outbreak of war he was posted to the 1st Searchlight Regiment Royal Artillery.
He was wounded and captured by Germans at Calais on the 23rd May 1940 and succeeded in escaping on the 5th Jnauary 1942 from Colditz after a previous attempt failed.
Isobel Grant Bailey 1921 - 2005. Special Operations Executive WW2.
This seat was contributed by her family. Isobel also served with the Army Transport Service ATS.
Her records at the National Archive will not be released until 2025. So we look forward to that!
299 Squadron RAF Memorial - Special Operations Flights - "Y" Worry. WW2.
PO Bert Horan, WO Jack Fry, WO Basil Jaggard, WO Reg Lowmanbaker, WO Maurice Davis, WO Gus Tyers
Remarkably these lads all survived the war as well as their hazardous missions.
This memorial was contributed by WO Maurice Davis.
299 Motto 'Par Nobile Fratrum' A nobile pair of brothers symbolising the close association with the Army Airborne Forces.
Behind the memorial is a Red Oak Tree which was grown from an acorn found in Oosterbeek Cemetery!
The memorial stone is surrounded by well mature lavender.
No. 299 Squadron was formed on 4 November 1943 form 'C' flight of 297 Squadron at RAF Stoney Cross, Hampshire as a special operations squadron flying Short Stirling's Mark IV.
Their Call Sign was "X9-Y" ( Y Worry).
It became operational in April 1944 dropping SOE agents. During the Normandy landings the squadron first delivered paratroopers,
and then returned to air-tow 16 Airspeed Horsa gliders across the English Channel.
The squadron continued operations with resupply drops until 10 June when it returned to SOE duties.
In between the SOE duties the squadron air-towed Horsa gliders for the Arnhem landing (Operation Market Garden), and the Rhine crossing (Operation Varsity).
It was also involved in supply-dropping to resistance forces in Norway until the end of the war.
At the end of the Second World War the squadron disbanded at RAF Shepherds Grove, Suffolk on 15 February 1946.
It had no RAF Crest as a means of preserving its secrecy.
624 Squadron RAF Memorial - Special Duties Flights WW2
This memorial to 624 was instigated by Ron McKeon who set up the very first website with the history of this RAF Unit.
The memorial was made possible by Ron and the newly formed 4624 RAF Auxiliary Squadron at Brize Norton,
624 Squadron and their Association and supported by Thales.
624 'Motto Du Noctuque Caeloque'
Behind the memorial is Black Poplar Tree symbolising the night time operations.
No. 624 Squadron was formed by raising No. 1575 Flight RAF to squadron status at Blida in Algeria, North Africa at the end of September 1943. The squadron continued to carry out special duties operations formerly done by 1575 flight into Italy, Southern France, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. These operations included supply dropping and the insertion of agents to the resistance. For these duties the squadron operated at first with Lockheed Venturas and Handley Page Halifaxes, and later Short Stirling Mk.IVs. As a result of the allied advances in France and Italy, the need for 624 squadron in this role had declined and it was therefore disbanded on 5 September 1944.
Captain Peter Arthur David Baker.
Peter Arthur David Baker MC (20 April 1921 – 14 November 1966) was a British soldier, author & publisher.
During WW2 he was recruited by MI9. Baker's role was to run and reorganise resistance groups and escape routes in France and Belgium in preparation for the forthcoming landings in France on D-Day; his section was attached to 21st Army Group under the ultimate command of SHAEF.
Baker found that the established 'ratlines' for helping escapers to get out of France were significantly disrupted by the landings, and the French Resistance was increasingly interested in becoming an overt force. With assistance only from his second-in-command Captain Pringle Dunn and eight French agents, his unit were able to arrange for 146 people ('escaping Allied airmen or prisoners of war, evaders left over from unsuccessful attacks on D-Day and important political refugees') to get to Britain. He volunteered to go over the front line to make initial contact with a party of 138 Allied pilots who had hidden in the Fôret de Fréteval near Châteaudun. More information about this extrodinary soldier is of course available on the Internet.
Humphrey Macare - Dutch Special Operations Executive WW2
Humphrey Macare was a Dutch Agent for the Special Operations Executive (SOE), parachuted into Holland on October 24th, 1942. He was captured by the Germans and executed around September 1944 at Gross Rosen in Poland. No known grave exists.
His younger brother, Norbert and his family, dedicated a plaque to his memory in the Allied Special Forces Grove at the National Memorial Arboretum on November 11th, 2007.
Special Forces Signals Association WW2
Squadron Leader Vera Atkins Memorial Seat and the women of "F" (French) section, Special Operations Executive WW2
Madeleine Bayard - Womens Royal Naval Service (WRENS)
Yolanda Beekman - Womens Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF)
Denise Bloch - First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY)
Andree Borrel - FANY
Muriel Byck - WAAF
Madeleine Damerment - FANY
Noor Inyat-Khan - WAAF
Cecily Lefort - FANY
Vera Leigh - FANY
Sonia Olschanezky - Recruited in France
Elaine Plewman - FANY
Lillian Rolfe - WAAF
Diana Rowden - WAAF
Yvonne Rudellat - FANY
Violette Szabo - FANY
United Nations Partisan Forces Korea 1950-1953
Lieutenant. L S Adams-Acton
Major W E Anderson
Sergeant. C H Lane
Sergeant D M Sharp
Sergeant J N Wells
Fusilier G Mills
Escape Lines Memorial Society - Home Run Memorial Stone WW2
Major Maurice Budd MC - V Special Force Burma and Royal Sussex Regiment WW2
Major John Sehmer - Special Operations Executive Ww2
David Haughton Finlayson ~ French Special Operations Executive
138 & 161 Squadrons RAF Memorial - RAF Tempsford
The FRIENDS of the Allied Special Forces Memorial Grove took over the fund raising, maintenance
and ongoing improvements to the Grove on the 1st September 2019.
To join the Friends of ASFMG please contact Mike Colton.