Book welcomed by airborne community

Robert Hilton signing books in Oosterbeek
Robert Hilton signing books in Oosterbeek

Many years of research and writing have gone into a new book on the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron in the Second World War.

Robert Hilton has written Freddie Gough’s Specials at Arnhem and its quality and attention to detail have been quickly praised by The Arnhem 1944 Fellowship, of which he is a life member.

The fellowship said: “If you think you are a serious student of Arnhem then this book needs to be in your collection.”

This new book follows R.N. Sigmond Publishing’s classic work Remember Arnhem, by John Fairley, and tells the story of the squadron in all the areas it fought.

Robert lived in Shoreham as a child, having moved with his family in 1970. He attended the Glebe School and Kings Manor School.

He always wanted to join the Parachute Regiment and in 1982, he went to war with 2 Para Falklands.

His dad, Dave Hilton, of The Gardens, Southwick, said: “Many readers will remember the reports featured in the Shoreham Herald at the time of the Falklands Conflict. He continued to serve and completed 22 years in the Parachute Regiment in 2003.

“He was always interested in the history of airborne forces and developed this in the later stages of his career. He became particularly involved with the Recce Squadron veterans and was made their honorary historian.

“Over the years, he gathered many stories and much information, he got to know many veterans and was made an honorary member of the Arnhem Veterans Association.

“He has written this book as a tribute to all those who fought and died, also for all those who survived and became his friends.”

On Armed Forces Day, Robert attended a special book signing event at a bookshop in Oosterbeek, The Netherlands.

He signed a considerable number of books, which was put together using official records and personal accounts from members of the squadron.

Dave added: “It is a very good-quality book, consisting 256 pages, with 288 black and white photos, pictures and documents, and 14 maps.

“It is the culmination of many years’ research and hard work, which has been welcomed by the airborne community.

Enquiries for the book can be made to Niall Cherry at niall.cherry@baesystems.com for the UK or Robert Sigmond at robert.sigmond@planet.nl for Europe.