At the age of nineteen years and five months, a young soldier does not get the opportunity to think, just does as he is told. As we were told, this is your change to help bring this war to an early end. For my part, it all sounded very good, little did I think on what was to follow.
On Sunday 17th September 1944, we set off. A little aprehensive, is probably putting it mildly. An engine failure on our tug over the north sea, more or less ended our journey on that day and we just made it back to England.
Thuesday the 19th, after getting tranfered to another glider, off we set again only to find that all our comrades had moved on, and that we had landed right in the middle of the enemy. So you can see that my part in this venture wasn't of any importance.
I had to accept the situation, could not do much about it anyway, it was not until almost a year later that I found out what the situation had been.
For many years later I thought to myself, 'you must go back one day, even if it is only to see the cemetary in Oosterbeek.' Well fifty five years later, through the good offices of the 'Lest We Forget Foundation' I finally made it, to encounter a moving experience. Topped by the amazing reception offered to me by the people of Oosterbeek and the surrounding area. Fifty five years on and I can't find the words to explain the generosity that I recieved. One day I hope to be able to understand the generosity of the Dutch people.
Yours, Stan Livesey