Prime Minister’s Tribute


“Finally, by the largest airborne operation ever conceived or executed, a further all-important forward bound in the north has been achieved. Here I must pay a tribute, which the House will consider due, to the superb feat of arms performed, by our First Airborne Division ………”

“The cost has been heavy; the casualties in a single Division have been grievous: but for those who mourn there is at least the consolation that the sacrifice was not needlessly demanded nor given without results. The delay caused to the enemy’s advance upon Nijmegen enabled their British and American comrades in the other two Airborne Divisions, and the British 2nd Army, to secure intact the vitally important bridges and to form a strong bridgehead over the main stream of the Rhine at Nijmegen. “Not in vain” may be the pride of those who have survived and the epitaph of those who fell.”

House of Commons, September 28, 1944