The Sappers in the D-Day Gliders – A Talk with Ingram Murray (7pm, Thursday 30 May 2024)
Landing in the six gliders with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry early in the morning of D Day the 6th of June 1944 a platoon of Royal Engineers was the spearpoint of a massive engineer effort to ensure the British forces landing on the beaches could cross the Orne Canal and the River Orne, and then break out towards the east. Linking with engineers landing on the first tide on the morning of D Day, the glider-borne Sappers made sure the two vital bridges at Bénouville and Ranville were ready for taking tanks. Rafting equipment came down in other gliders in case the two vital crossings were out of action, while airborne bulldozers cleared the obstacles from the big landing zones ready for mass landings later in the day. The air photo taken shortly after D Day of the two famous bridges captured by the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry shows one of the special floating Bailey bridges next to the Orne River swing bridge built by the Sappers to provide extra capacity for the breakout from the beachhead. Proceeds from ticket sales of this event directly support both ABF: The Soldiers Charity and Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust.
Location: Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum (The Briefing Room)