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My journey...............Saturday 2nd August 06.30 am
I set off from Lancaster heading towards Newcastle airport, for a flight due to take off at ten thirty so made it easily. The flight was in a small twin engined Dash80 with 60 people on board. My thoughts couldn't help but go back to how my dad must have felt 60 years ago.

Dad was a 29 year old lorry driver employed by Jenners a local removal firm in Lingfield. So flying must have been quite some adventure. He had volunteered in the early part of the war doing some Don R work but ended up in the Royal Engineers at some time drove a bridging crane acquiring the nick name " emma" something to do with the crane?

Combined Operations

 

In September 1942 he was with the 261st Fieldpark Company Royal Engineers. He had by this time acquired a badge showing that he had parachute ability and a red beret. I only know this by talking to folks he saw when he returned home to Lingfield. Mum also had said when he was home and they were out together, people in the street remarked about the red beret the word airborne was heard, making her proud to be on his arm.

Dad was leaving behind his pregnant wife, as I said "I didn't arrive until January".

Our flight took one hour forty minutes, arriving in Norway at midday I found a taxi that took me to the First Hotel Alstor in Tjensvolle a suburb of Stavanger. Dumped my bags and asked directions for the Gravland Eignes. A walk of about two miles round a lake into town, found a foot bridge over a road and saw a statue that I remember from 1985 where a small ceremony was held marking the liberation of Stavanger by British forces in 1945. I was a little lost at this point as in 1985 we had been transported by mini bus around town driven by a Norwegian national service man, so had to ask the way. As it turned out I was 100 yards away from where I needed to be came round the corner to see the tower of the small chapel/crematorium and knew the way.

 
Sletteboe Memorial Plaque (Leif Jørum)
Sletteboe Memorial Plaque (Leif Jørum)
Dads plot was well maintained with roses on the graves. I was able to plant some London Pride at dads grave and leave a small cross that I had bought with me saved from poppy day last year. I spent some time here, the local people were walking round and reading the inscriptions on the headstones, it was good to see young people with small children as well as older folks. The memorial that we had come to see installed in 1985 was now set in a bed of flowers the bare earth that we saw 18 years ago covered .
My journey.........
Continued


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