First look at Somerby’s planned memorial to Arnhem war heroes

An artist's impression of a planned memorial at Somerby to mark the service and sacrifice of the 10th Battalion The Parachute Regiment during the Second World War EMN-180730-144533001
An artist's impression of a planned memorial at Somerby to mark the service and sacrifice of the 10th Battalion The Parachute Regiment during the Second World War EMN-180730-144533001
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An artist’s impression has been revealed of the proposed £75,000 permanent stone memorial to a brave battalion which sustained huge losses during the Second World War.

Campaigners have submitted a planning application to Melton Council for the tribute to the 10th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, at Somerby, where the troops were based.

On September 18, 1944, 582 men from the regiment were dropped into the Battle of Arnhem in Holland and after fierce fighting to secure strategic bridges only 36 of them returned to the village.

The event has been commemorated with a service annually at All Saints’ Church for more than 70 years and campaign charity, Friends of the Tenth (FOTT), last year set about raising money to pay for a permanent memorial, to be sited on a grassland area in front of the church.

It would take the form of a main sculpture showing members of the regiment with bench seats surrounding it.

A report to go before councillors when they consider whether to approve the scheme says it would also promote tourism, help educate schoolchildren and provide somewhere for villagers to sit.

A spokesperson for FOTT said: “Somerby’s relationship with the paras stands out as unique in the British Isles.

“While most parishes have a memorial to those residents who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the two world wars, nowhere else in the UK was the loss of almost 550 men in one battle, the Battle of Arnhem, felt so keenly.”