March played a role in the ill-fated Arnhem disaster

VE Day celebrated the end of hostilities between Britain and Nazi Germany.

March, home of the famous railway marshalling yards played a very significant role in the nation’s survival, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of war materials despatched to all parts of the country.

The Luftwaffe never bombed Whitemoor. According to old Nazi documents Hitler ordered that no bombs must be dropped on Whitemoor.

Every three weeks or so a German aircraft dropped flares over the rail yards and took photos of what was going on.

March played a role in the ill-fated Arnhem disaster - hundreds of planes towing gliders gathering above the town before heading for the coast.


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I remember four Luftwaffe airmen that had crash-landed nearby waiting patiently on the bridge before being taken to the old police station in High Street and then to Ely.

March had several battalions of Home Guard personnel, including a railway battalion. They regularly marched along Station Road armed with bayonets.

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In 1944 a lone German bomber dropped four high explosive bombs onto and near Norwood Road, killing a family who had left London to escape the Blitz.

March purchased a submarine which patrolled the Mediterranean Sea. March people supplied the crew of free Polish submariners with presents.

The vessel sank four enemy ships before being torpedoed by a U boat.

One can never forget these times and I have a list of more than 20 allied and enemy aircraft that crashed within a 10-mile radius of March.

The enemy bombed rail lines leading to Whitemoor, disrupting traffic and the rails were replaced and working within 24 hours.

Army detachments stationed at March practised bayonet drill on the market place - good stuff for young boys to watch!

Land army girls were stationed at a shop near the existing Iceland store.

They hung their washing on the flat roof and did valuable work on local farms as did prisoners of war.

March played its part in numerous ways, but few are they that can remember now

TREVOR BEVIS

St Peter’s Road, March

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