On Saturday 24 March, the Old Elthamians Rugby Club welcomed a group of former Paratroopers, members of the Parachute Regiment Association, to a lunch before the game against Hull Ionians.
The lunch was organised by Mr Gary Tootill (one of the group) who is also the coach for the Old Elthamians Under 15 team. This gathering was particularly special because we were in the presence of two World War Two veterans, Ted Pieri and Bill Gladden, one who was at D Day and the other involved in the crossing of the Rhine. A short speech was made recounting the involvement of these two veterans and the importance of their contribution. The Chairman of the Old Elthamians Rugby Club, Nick Burne, presented a framed print commemorating the anniversary of the Rhine crossing to the (ex-para association). The veterans talked informally to many present about their experiences and memories of this most significant period of history. After the lunch, all enjoyed the Old Elthamians securing a comprehensive win against Hull.
Written by: Mr Cavendish, Master of the Junior School