Op 31-01-2020 ontvingen we een bericht van Mrs Kate Gilbert:
On this sad day for our family, as the UK leaves the European Union, I am thinking of our wonderful experience in the Netherlands when I came with my parents to the inauguration of the memorial at Oene.
The other day I was telling Arthur Beresford’s story to a young man who had spoken to me of his disappointment over Brexit. I told him too of the amazing events organised by Broken Wings, and the great love that the Dutch people show to the British. He was really moved by it, and so was I.
My parents both died in 2018, Dad in July and Mum in December. I had been devastated by my father’s admission that he had voted to leave the EU. He said ‘we hadn’t signed up’ for political integration when we had entered the Common Market. As I was very much involved in his day to day care, I could never tell him how heartbroken I was about it. My mother though had voted to remain.
So I am writing to connect with you again, to say once again a heartfelt thank you from my family, and to assure you, if any assurance is needed, that most people in the UK now think that we are doing the wrong thing. Patriotism can be a great force for good, but it can also lead to stupidity. I hope that there is not too much resentment in the Netherlands for our insularity.
I will of course continue to tell Arthur’s story, with the closing chapter of the discovery of your country’s love and commemoration.
Thank you and best wishes
Kate Gilbert die in 2009 samen met haar ouders aanwezig was bij de onthulling van het monument bij de Bartjesbrug in Oene, de plek waar de Avro Lancaster LL840 op 22 juni 1944 neerstortte.
Eén van de 8 bemanningsleden, van wie er 3 omkwamen, was Arthur G.Beresford, een oom van Kate Gilbert en broer van haar vader. Arthur geboren op 5 april 1922 in Birmingham volgt bij de RAF een opleiding tot bommenrichter. Op z’n 22e start hij met zijn 2e tour als bommenrichter van een Lancaster. Nadat de Lancaster op 22 juni was geraakt is Beresford uit zijn toestel gesprongen en geland in Geesteren nabij Borculo.
Het verhaal van zijn omzwervingen, zijn gevangenschap in Stalag Luft VII in Bankau, Polen en zijn terugkeer na de oorlog naar Birmingham staat in het boek ‘Gevallen Helden’ van Gerrit en Silvie Kamphuis.