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Service for veterans of the Rhine Crossing

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members of the Parachute Regimental Association (PRA) will gather at Sutton War Memorial next weekend to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the Rhine Crossing.

The crossing of March 24, 1945, remains the biggest and most successful airborne operation in military history.

Several members of the Croydon branch were involved, including Johnny Johnson, who attends the memorial in Sutton each year to remember his friends who did not make it back. His entire platoon of 30 men were killed.

"When his friends in the branch heard of this, they started to join him, and it has now grown into a short ceremony," said Colonel John Power, president of Croydon PRA.

The mayors of both boroughs will attend the service on March 23 at 10.30am.

Colonel Power and secretary Ginger Mead will read a description of the operation, followed by the Last Post, a period of silence and a Reveille bugle call. The ceremony is followed by an informal brunch and beer in a nearby pub.

The Rhine Crossing represented the Allies final push into Germany in the last year of the war. It involved airborne troops landing by parachute and glider to capture high ground in order to protect troops crossing the river.


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