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Cornish Veteran Honoured

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8:02am 7th December 2014

A Cornish veteran, whose inspirational war story includes surviving Dunkirk and leading a mission in the Battle for Arnhem, is honoured.

Major Tony Hibbert MBE was captured near the bridge immortalised in the Robert Redford film 'A Bridge Too Far'

Hibbert's military career saw him

* evacuated from Dunkirk in June 1940
* serve in the North Africa campaign and the Italian campaign
* lead Brigade HQ in Operation Market Garden, also known as the Battle for Arnhem
* captured by the Germans just outside Arnhem
* whilst being transported to a prisoner of war camp on a truck, Hibbert jumped off and escaped. In retaliation the Germans shot dead six other unarmed British soldiers being transported with him - "This is a burden I shall carry to my grave" said Hibbert when he later commented on the tragedy.
* He was subsequently sheltered by the Dutch resistance, before breaking his leg which took him out of the war for five months.

And it did not stop there! hear his full story as told by Tom French from the Royal Cornish Parachute Regiment Association here:

 

On his return to Cornwall Major Hibbert set up Trebah Gardens. On discovering that US military personnel trained in 1944 before boarding their boats for D-Day and Omaha Beach he installed a memorial.

Tom added: "He then found out the American 29th division actually left from Trebah Gardens, from his beach. he erected a memorial to them, also to the parachute regiment and airborne forces and every year we have a Trebah Military Day The Royal Cornwall branch of the Parachute Regiment organise it on Tony's behalf and run it with the blessings of the Trebah Military Trust."

There is a service for Tony, who died at the age of 95 earlier this year, on Sunday

The City of Truro Male Choir and the Culdrose Military Wives Choir will perform at St Andrews Church in Redruth.

8:02am 7th December 2014

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