Fred Weatherley Files
After several years of research I had the honour of joining a reunion weekend of the 21st Independent Parachute Company Club. The 21st Club, which consists of ex-members of the Company, relatives and close friends, was formed in 1974.
It appeared that one of the early members of the Company, Fred Weatherley, had spent a great deal of his life in gathering information about his comrades and the unit's actions. Fred’s files consisted of an enormous amount of correspondence, typed out interviews and many photographs. Besides this he had gathered detailed information about nearly every Pathfinder who had fought at Arnhem.
His files are the basis for Leading The Way To Arnhem.
Leading The Way To Arnhem
The book paints a vivid picture of every stage of existence of the Independent Company.
Starting with the selection process with the intake of rejected Glider Pilots, Irishmen and German speaking Jews. The long and arduous training and experiments with kit-bags, marker panels, Eureka beacons, flare paths and glim lamps.
It describes in detail how the Pathfinders saw their fist action in Sicily and Italy.
The Market Garden chapter (70 pages) is based on Fred Weatherly's sources, many personal accounts and in depth research. The result is an extraordinary account of the Arnhem battle which tells a story on a level of individual
soldiers, from hour to hour and house to house.
The book continues with the Company's exploits in Norway, the return of eight Pathfinders to Holland to play a part in the film 'Theirs Is The Glory' and the unit's final disbandment in Palestine.
The appendices include an history of the 1st Independent Platoon (separated from the Company in Italy) a description of specialised Pathfinding equipment and a 'pen portrait' of each individual member of the 21st Independent Parachute Company who fought at Market Garden.
Hard back with dust cover
206 pages, high quality paper
268 photographs (many not published before) and 5 maps
Publisher: R.N. Sigmond Publishing
28 x 22 x 2,2 cm, 1,3 kg