A bridge not too far for Amersham & Chiltern

Bucks Free Press: John Hollington Grayburn, top right, and the Amersham first team John Hollington Grayburn, top right, and the Amersham first team

AMERSHAM & Chiltern RFC will travel en masse to Belguim in May to commemorate the 70th anniversary of The Battle of Arnhem, where former player John Hollington Grayburn won a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Grayburn, who played for Amersham for 12 years before the outbreak of war, commanded Number Two Platoon of the Second Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, which was dropped into Arnhem on September 17, 1944 with order to take and then hold the bridge.

Grayburn was twice wounded as he led his platoon, and later the remnants of the battalion, in the defence of the bridge between September 17 and 20.

He was eventually killed when standing up in full view of German tank to direct his men.

To honour their former player, Amersham will sends hundreds of players of all ages to the town for a weekend of rugby against Arnhem Rugby Club.

Two coaches, several minubusses and even a group of cyclists will make the historic trip, which will include a junior and senior match and a Sunday Service at Grayburn’s graveside.

As a precusor, eight Red Devils will parachute into Weedon Lane ahead of their fixture with Old Redcliffians on March 22, carrying a replica of the VC which they will then present to Grayson’s son.

England legend Jason Leonard will then be guest of honour during a pre-match lunch.

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