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A Company - 2nd Battalion - June 1944 - Easton Hall.jpg


The Full Story

This website is dedicated to the memory of Albert Joseph Holtom - my maternal Grandfather.  But who am I?

A survivor of the Kolwezi massacre of 1978, I have the dubious honour of being one of few civilians still alive to have watched Parachutists jump into battle (Operation Bonite/Leopard).  The impact that the sight of hundreds of billowing parachutes has on morale cannot be be overstated.  To know that my Grandfather was one of the founding members of the Parachute Regiment of the British Army, therefore, is doubly important to me.

So, to be told that my Grandfather was "just a cook" during the Second World War, was quite an insult.  I knew him for 30 years of my life, and his stories were as far removed from bully beef as it is possible to get. The names of places such as Bruneval, North Africa (especially Tamara), Sicily, Italy, and Arnhem were all part of my childhood, yet only North Africa is mentioned in my Grandfather's Service Records and, even then, there is no record of any operational activity.

Nearly seven years of research has gone into the making of this site, with help from numerous fellow researchers, and attempted sabotage from others.  The aim is to try and determine my Grandfather's operational role in the British 2nd Parachute Battalion during the Second World War.  It's a long story!


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