Festival talks by Peter Clarke

75. A BRIDGE TOO FAR: A VETERAN OF ARNHEM

We are very fortunate to welcome Staff Sgt Peter Clarke who will be talking about his incredible wartime experiences in conversation with Paul Beaver. One of the very last of the Arnhem survivors, his story is one of courage and selflessness. Originally trained at an orderly in the Royal Army Medical Corps, by 1942 he had already seen plenty of action at RAF Manston, attending to bomber crews crash-landing after being mauled over Germany. Seeing a notice for volunteers to join a new army elite, he found himself in the Glider Pilot Regiment learning how to take soldiers on a one-way trip behind enemy lines. This he did at Arnhem in September 1944 and after some hair-raising adventures on the landing zone, found himself at a field dressing station; rather than be a patient, he put his training to good use. After five days, literally saving lives, he elected to stay behind with the wounded. He was captured and sent to a camp in Poland. He wasn’t there long before the Russians came knocking on the door and he began the Long March westwards; again his medical training paid dividends and he was able to save more lives, both local Germans and PoWs. His tale is not so much unusual as extraordinary. The Glider Pilot Regiment motto sums it up: nothing is impossible.

Give a Book www.giveabook.org.uk is a UK charity (no 1149664) that gives books to people at times when they really need them. We work mainly in prisons and primary schools, giving books to disadvantaged or excluded children, those struggling with literacy or visiting family in prison; we also give books for prison reading groups, people in police cells, adults taking up literacy in prison, and more–all places where the gift of a book really makes a difference.

View event details and buy tickets