So the season is over, well almost, our NWW2A association hold the A.G.M. at Eden Camp.Near Malton E Yorks. Nov 27th
Gott Mit Uns
We lost a Kameradan earlier this year to illness, Clive Lund, who will be missed but we have regained a valuable member, Steve The Mod.
A useful site for basic German speaking, something I need to work on:
Allan Swatman has taken on the role as C/O following Robins decision to step down and leave the group due to personal reasons. This is a role he has previous held as a founder member of the group. Danny Matthews has been promoted to 2ic, congratulations Danny! Congratulations also go to Richard Smith on receiving the Infantry Assault badge in recognition of the number events his has attended. Much to Richards surprise he has also been awarded The Iron Cross Second Class in recognition of his efforts at the Grassington War weekend event. Well done all!
We are please to advise that 21st Panzer Division Living History Group has been accepted into the National Association of Re-enactment Societies.
Formed in 1991, NAReS is now recognised as the only national body to not only represent around 18,000 people who re-create history but also as the organisation working for the benefit of those who employ and watch such representations.
Since its formation, NAReS has been officially recognised as representative of re-enactment by government departments and bodies, the police (including ACPO), and the armed services..
The group’s membership of NAReS recognises its involvement, commitment and a willingness to comply with recognised standards.
The Group was complimented on the quality of it’s application, supporting paperwork and the references provided in support of the application from event organisers.
Members of the 21st Panzer Division Living History Group recently voted to leave the Northern World War 2 Association and therefore the Group is now full independent. Members of the Group enjoyed a day at the Yorkshire Air Museum on Saturday 1st March when plans for the future were enthusiastically discussed. The Group remains active with a comprehensive yet growing calendar of events for 2014 and is still actively recruiting new members.
It is with great sadness that I must report that “Great Escape” veteran Frank Stone has passed away.
Members of the 21st Panzer Division Living History Group had the privilege of meeting Frank at the Northallerton Wartime Weekend on 18th & 19th June 2011.
Frank was the VIP Guest at the event and delivered two excellent and interesting talks about the true story behind the “Great Escape” with proceeds from the talks being donated to the Bomber Command Memorial charity fund.
Since that time I had kept in touch with Frank and would like to think that I had the honour to be considered a friend. He will be sadly missed.
Robin CarrCO 21st Panzer Division LHG
For millions, Hut four in Stalag Luft III is the wooden hut where some 80 prisoners crawled their way towards freedom in March 1944 through “Harry”, a tunnel dug over five months. The mass break-out was the basis for the iconic war film The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson and Donald Pleasance.
But for Frank Stone, an 18-year-old Royal Air Force gunner whose Hampden bomber crash-landed in Germany in 1940, hut 104 (where the real Great Escape took place) represented an austere home whose occupants lived in constant fear of discovery and where boredom as much as duty made escape worth pursuing.
Frank was born and brought up at Quarndon, a small village 3 miles north of Derby. He was educated at the Herbert Strutt Grammar School at Belper and after leaving school wanted to go to the RAF College at Cranwell, but his parents would not sign the necessary form (well it was 1938).
However, soon after his 18th birthday in May 1940 Frank volunteered for aircrew. He was assessed as suitable for training as a navigator, which would take place in Canada in September. So in the July he was sent to 83 Squadron at RAF Scampton where he did a minimum training as an air gunner. After 6 weeks in the RAF, Guy Gibson, his flight commander, invited him to volunteer for operations over Germany as it would look good in his logbook. The first operation went well and five days later he was invited to repeat the exercise but unfortunately his plane was shot down in the Black Forest in Germany. Frank did not get to Canada but spent three years in captivity before ending up in North Compound, Stalag Luft III – the site of The Great Escape.
Last weekend members of 21st Panzer Division LHG attended the Yorkshire Wartime Experience at Hunsworth near Leeds. This was an excellent event with groups in attendance from all over the country, and saw one of the biggest battle re-enactments in the region. 21st Panzer Division members played an active role in these re-enactments fielding no less that 17 members manning the PAK38, Mortar, MG42 as well as providing a (reduced size) Grenadier section. This is certainly an event to watch out for in the future and the group are already looking forward to attending again next year.
This years Wheels and Wings at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington (Near York) saw one of the groups largest turnouts. Despite the weather being less than ideal the unit provided an excellent display including the deployment of the group’s new PAK 38.
The 21st Panzer Division LHG was one of only five groups who were invited to display within the museum itself, with other groups having to camp and display on the runaway area just outside where traders and the MVT displays were also located.
Visitors to the show also enjoyed a fly past by the Battle of Britain Memorial flight Lancaster bomber
In April 2013 six members of the 21st Panzer Division Living History Group spent two days filming at the Mucklebrough Collection in Norfolk. Members of the group portrayed German troops involved in the construction and manning of the Atlantic Wall, part of the Third Reich’s Fortress Europe. Some members of the group also assisted the production company by playing a dual role and portraying labourers involved in the construction works.
The documentary was made by Darlow Smithson Productions (London) for National Geographic and the US Public Broadcasting Service