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  • Writer's pictureCodegate Admin

D-Day Commemorations at Harwell

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

As we celebrate 75 years of D-Day this week, Rob Ponsford from our sales team has been remembering his father S/Sgt. Fred Ponsford from the 'A' Squadron Glider Pilot Regiment.

Harwell Campus, just down the road from Codegate's offices, is now known for it's Science and Space Technology research, however this used to be an RAF base where the Horsa Gliders were based.

The D-Day landings were pivotal in changing the course of World War II and as part of the campaign, the Horsa Gliders were used to transport infantry over enemy lines to hold up the enemy from getting to the landing beaches. The missions were extremely dangerous, flying at night and under fire from German anti-aircraft guns.

S/Sgt. Fred Ponsford flew one of these Horsa Gliders carrying men from the 2nd Battalion of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry across enemy lines to Normandy, landing near Saint-Aubin-d'Arquenay and the Caen Canal.

This clip from BBC South Today shows some of the celebrations taking place at Harwell this week. Rob joined the relatives of others who served from Harwell to show some of the memorabilia from their D-Day campaign.

We would like to thank Rob for sharing his stories and memorabilia of his Fathers critical work in the D-Day campaign with us. We will be eternally grateful to S/Sgt. Fred Ponsford for his part, along with the thousands of others, in giving us the freedom that we all enjoy today.

Steve Wright and Rob Ponsford of the Glider Pilot Regiment Society are pictured below with Fiona Smart of Harwell Campus Management Team presenting a photo of 'A' Squadren Glider Pilot Regiment.

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