Arnhem Connections

Caythorpe's connection with the battle for the bridges at Arnhem

Arnhem veterans march towards St Vincents church, Caythorpe

Arnhem veterans march towards St Vincents church, Caythorpe

Caythorpe, 216 Signals Regiment and the Battle for Arnhem 1944

During 1944 the 1st Airborne Signals Regiment was formed with approximately 450 men all ranks. The first major battle they became in engaged in was, Operation Market Garden, the battle for the bridges of Arnhem. The regiment was based in and around Caythorpe for training prior to the operation; Holy Cross House (now Holy Cross Gardens) was the Headquarters, the village hall served as a billet and work shops for the blacksmith and boot repairer and the NAAFI was in the upstairs room at the back. Officers and men were billeted in local houses and in Caythorpe Court.

After the war a few survivors of the operation started visiting Caythorpe on the anniversary of Arnhem, to visit the Church and remember lost Comrades. As time passed by the event became officially recognised and the 1st Airborne Signals Regiment modern day equivalent, 216 Signals Regiment, now visit annually and hold a memorial service for all comrades lost in Arnhem and other conflicts since.

During the Regiment’s service in Aden their camp was called St Vincent’s and this tradition has been carried on in other conflicts. Today when talking to the younger members of the Regiment they consider Caythorpe to be the spiritual home of the 216 Regiment and over the years the Village has always welcomed the Regiment and combine their annual visit with a Gala Weekend.

Traditionally the departed comrades and ranks have been given refreshments upon their departure after the church service on the Sunday. For a number of years, because of the closure of Caythorpe Court, members of the Regiment and old comrades held the Regimental Dinner in Lincoln. However, this proved to be unsatisfactory and six years ago the village hall committee offered to host the dinner and the departure luncheon. This was felt to have reinforced the ties that the Regiment has with the village and is now an annual event on the village calendar.