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1983 Radio Interview by Barbara Taylor with Chris Gidle then aged 67
Chris Glidle - ex-paratrooper
In September 1944 after the Battle of Arnham, Chris and his fellow
soldier Ray Anderson, had been picked up by the Dutch resistance.

I was picked up by the Dutch resistance and taken to the Dutch farmer’s house, with my friend Mr Anderson and we stayed there for about three weeks and whilst we were there the Germans came and searched the farm, and the Dutch farmer – he took his wife and children away, and we hid in the hay loft for about an hour and half and the Germans never did find us which was a good thing for us, and the Dutchman and his wife and children. And then from there we moved to a place called Lunteren, a Dutch Policeman’s house and also whilst we were there the German’s came and searched the house. But the Dutchman had a wardrobe which he’d sawed the bottom out and sawed the floor of the bedroom the same length and width, and put it on hinges and when they came and searched the place and we was laying in between the living room floor and the bedroom on the eaves of the house, and the Dutchman shut the door and the Germans opened the wardrobe door but they couldn’t see anything because he’d put the lid down and put shoes all on the floor and nobody knew no different.
Listen to Chris talking about his war time memories

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You had some narrow escapes, but then you and your colleague got back to England, and you left it for 39 years before you went back to Holland to see these Dutch people. Tell me about that.

The Dutch Policeman met us at the airport and he took us to his house, we stayed five days with him and he took us around places – we visited the war graves at Oosterbeek and the museum in Oosterbeek at the [Hartenstein] Hotel and it was very moving to go in there and see all the things that happened during in the Arnhem operation.

What did you and the policeman say to each other when you met after such a long time?

Well, I knew him and he knew me straight away – we shook hands and put our arms around one another for a couple of minutes and then we started off and got to his house and met his wife and we had five lovely days with them.

Did they still have that wardrobe in the bedroom?

Oh no, no. They was living in a different house then. Then we moved on to the Dutch farmer and we stayed with his eldest son Everet and then we went to visit the old farm where the Dutch farmer hid us in the house there.

Did lots of memories come flooding back to you when you came to these places?

Oh, definitely, definitely – it brought real memories back to us and a few sad moments and what we really cared for was the Dutch farmer and his family because if we’d have got caught and they’d have got caught and they’d have shot them you see. And we think they were very brave people.



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