Experiencing the culture and history that resides in Holland is very much a priority of the pre-season tour.
Falling into this category was the visit to the Arnhem War Museum and Cemetery, which proved to be a thought provoking trip for many of the Apprentices and in particular Austin Eaton (Watford FC).
The Battle around Arnhem took place in 1944 during World War II and remains a famous military engagement to this day.
At the time Holland was occupied by German forces and Operation Market Garden was an attempt to try and secure a series of bridges over the main rivers in Holland to speed up the end of the war.
Amongst the Netherland’s Allies were British, American and Polish forces. It was around Arnhem where the British 1st Airbourne Division encountered a far stronger German resistance than expected and tragically could not be supported by fellow ground forces as they landed, which resulted in many casualties.
LFE Apprentice Austin Eaton, was advised by his Grandmother prior to the trip that he should visit the memorial.
Eaton was told that his Great Grandfather was buried at the Oosterbeek War Cemetery in Arnhem. Private Victor H Goodheart served with the 10th Parachute Battalion that took part in Operation Market Garden and Eaton was given the opportunity to visit his grave.
In reflecting on the visit the youngster told LFE: “It’s a coincidence that of all places for me to visit, it would be where my Great Grandfather fought in the war.”
“It was great that my Grandmother told me where he was buried so I could pay my respects to him on behalf of my family.”
“I think everybody on tour was moved by the history of what happened here in 1944 and I now realise that being brave is more than just going hard into a tackle on the football pitch.”
As a result of the tour the young Hornet will be taking more home with him than just a medal from the tournament’s final tomorrow.