A Bridge Too Far: Col Simon Vandeleur Blog, Day Four

Colonel Simon Vandeleur, Edinburgh Castle Garrison Commander, created a blog during the ‘A Bridge Too Far’ bike ride from London to Belgium. He rode with Baxterbear on his handlebars all the way there, and Baxterbear was TREEKLED to make a difference with him. To read a full round-up of events, click here. Here is his blog post from the fourth day: Well, Baxterbear and I have been struggling through the rain with a very wet bear on the handlebars. We visited the German WW2 military cemetery at Lommel where 39,000 German war dead were buried including 500 from WW1. Very different from our own Commonwealth War graves abroad which receive a subsidy from our own MoD. The German war graves are entirely supported by German charities. Two dead per gravestone and a third of them with a message “Ein Deutche Soldat”. And the names were not all German – a sign of all the small people who were caught up by the warped ideology of a few fanatics. As a soldier, I respect the war dead of former enemies. I have no anti-German feelings, despite the awful atrocities that were carried out by the Nazi party. A historic Dakota aircraft has just landed at the airbase where we are now enjoying the sunshine and drying out our sodden clothes. We are having a talk from two veterans describing the rudiments of parachuting into Arnhem in 1944. One of the cyclists is using the original para bike which is foldable in half, one gear and rigid pedals. A rarely used piece of kit. That’s it folks. Now we are setting off for the famous Joe’s bridge, named after my cousin JOE Vandeleur, over the Escaut canal, captured by the Irish Guards group thus enabling Op Market Garden to be brought forward by some days. Best wishes, Simon Vandeleur and Baxterbear Freedom isn’t Free For the first day of Col Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. For the fifth day of Col Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. For the sixth day of Col Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. h4h 2