Video: Pendle couple's pilgrimage to Holland for 75th anniversary of Battle of Arnhem will honour young Burnley soldier

Jonathan Clamp (third from right) who designed the motor home 'wrap' commemorating the Battle of Arnhem with his grandfather Ken Walsh (left) and Graham and Pat Wardle.
Jonathan Clamp (third from right) who designed the motor home 'wrap' commemorating the Battle of Arnhem with his grandfather Ken Walsh (left) and Graham and Pat Wardle.

A soldier from Burnley, who was killed at the Battle of Arnhem when he was just 24, is among the many who will be honoured at the 75th anniversary commemorations this week.

Thousands of people will see a moving image of Private Ellis Clarke, which is part of a one off montage 'wrap' commemorating the battle, that has been designed for a motor home owned by Graham and Pat Wardle.

The Wardle's motor home in all its glory with the image of Private Clarke featured at the rear.

The Wardle's motor home in all its glory with the image of Private Clarke featured at the rear.

And what makes the 'wrap' extra special is the fact it was designed by Private Clarke's great grandson, Jonathan Clamp.

A graphic designer at Vantex UK Ltd which is based on the Billington Road industrial estate in Burnley Jonathan (31) spent several weeks on his design that incorporates all aspects of the battle, known as Operation Market Garden, which saw more than 35,000 British, Polish and American parachute and glider troops dropped into the Netherlands in order to secure key bridges across the River Rhine.

It proved to be a daring but ultimately doomed bid to win the Second World War by Christmas, 1944.

Jonathan and his uncle, David Walsh, who owns Vantex, have made several trips to Arnhem in the past few years to pay homage to Ellis along with the head of the family, Ken Walsh, who is David's dad and Jonathan's granddad.

Private Clarke was the father of 78-year-old Ken's late wife, Anne, who died in 2017.

Anne was only four when her brave father died in the war but the family always cherished and honoured his memory of serving in the battle that was immortalised in the 1977 film A Bridge Too Far starring Dirk Bogarde and Michael Caine.

And it was thanks to Ken that Graham and Pat were able to have their motor-home 'wrapped.'

Pat explained: "Ken works as a part time delivery driver for Vantex and he came to the firm in Altham where I worked one day and I noticed his van had been 'wrapped' for Poppy Day.

"He told me about his son David's company and how they could do it and it went from there."

This is the fourth trip for the Colne couple who plan to visit all the towns where the battle took place including the war cemetery in Oosterbek where a total of 1,684 Commonwealth servicemen from the Second World War are buried or commemorated.

Graham, who himself served with the parachute regiment from 1984 to 2002, said: "The dutch commemorate this anniversary in big way as it is very important to them.

"Every home you see is festooned with flags and everyone is involved in the commemorations including the schoolchildren who learn from a very early age about the Battle of Arnhem and what it meant for their country."