Double Hills

Memorial Service to remember the 23 brave lives lost when Glider RJ113 crashed into a meadow called Double Hills in the village of Paulton, Somerset, near Bath

Airborne Engineers Association

About the Double Hills Memorial

Double Hills is the Annual Memorial to remember the 23 brave lives lost when Glider RJ113, enroute to Arnhem, crashed into a meadow called Double Hills in the village of Paulton in Somerset (Near Bath). They all died on a beautiful Sunday Morning 17th Sept.1944.

The men who died were the first casualties of the Battle for the Arnhem “Bridge Too Far“ Operation Market Garden, the plan to land an Allied Airborne Army behind German lines and end the war in 1944, and bring the boys home.

With their towing Bomber, a Stirling, they had taken off from RAF Keevil airfield, Trowbridge, Wilts. 21 Airborne Sappers from the 9th Field Company Airborne Royal Engineers and 2 Pilots from the Glider Pilot Regiment all died in the Double Hills meadow when their Glider broke up in the skies over Paulton and crashed to earth. All the soldiers who died were buried with honour at Weston Super Mare.

The Memorial which was built by the Royal Monmouth Regt. Sappers and established in 1979. It was unveiled by the commander of the famous British 1st Airborne Division, General Roy Urquhart.

As the years go on the numbers change. Except those of 21 Sappers and 2 Glider Pilots, who will remain in memory.

The Double Hills event is attended by many of the families of the fallen, whose attendance is growing every year, as new generations remember.

9 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers and the Army Air Corps will be in attendance as every year since inception.

The organiser and driving force behind this memorial is Mr Peter Yeates. Peter served in the Royal Navy and has been made an Honorary Member of the Airborne Engineers Association. Peter was also involved with 9 Para Sqn RE, when he was serving with the RAF Regiment Reserves in 1987, he did a BFT (Battle Fitness Test) at Rhine Barracks under SSM Baz Bassett in 11 mins, no mean feat aged 48. He also did a solo parachute descent at Thruxton airfield. In recognition of the work Peter has done over the years, particularly for getting a permanent memorial in place, in 1984 he was awarded the Institute of Royal Engineers Fowke Silver Medal by Arnhem Hero General "Shan" Hackett and General Shapland RE

Peter is anxious that Double Hills is attended by as many people as possible but especially by 9 Para Sqn RE Veterans. This is their Memorial.


A short video of the 2020 Double Hills Memorial Service

Double Hills Memorial Service 2013 by John Lee, AEA President

This year’s ceremony was held on the bright, sunny afternoon of Sunday 1st September and was attended by detachments from 9 Parachute Sqn and 676 Sqn AAC along with relatives of the victims, service representatives, local dignitaries and many local people.

Our Chairman, John Ferry, piped the distinguished guests into the ceremony and immediately afterwards, the fly­past by the Historic Flight, Army Air Corps started proceedings.

After the wreath laying, service and inspection the contingents marched past the saluting dais where Col Peter Eadie, Commandant, Army Aviation Centre took the salute.


A reception was held in the Village Hall where I had the pleasure of presenting a bouquet to Jan Chambers, on behalf of the Airborne Engineers Association, for all the work she has done over many years, assisting Peter Yeates with the Double Hills ceremony.

Once again, our thanks to Peter for organising this memorial service to remember those first casualties of Operation Market Garden and to keep their memory alive.

Next years’ service will be on the 7th September, so put a note in your diaries.

Photos from Past Memorial Services

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