Operation Varsity was the largest airborne operation in history to be conducted on a single day and in one location.  A daring collaboration between British and American Airborne Divisions it played a vital role in the final assault on Germany during World War II.

Marks Hall Estate was the headquarters of the RAF’s 296 and 297 Squadrons, who were based at nearby Earls Colne Airfield and took part in the assault.

The casualties were devastating due to the concentrated anti-aircraft defences and the drift of smoke screen laid to cover the land offensive nearby. Many of the gliders failed to reach their allocated landing zones.  The Glider Pilot Regiment had 98 pilots killed and 77 wounded during the operation.

In remembrance Marks Hall Estate created a memorial site within our Arboretum, and on 24th March 2020 we would be delighted if you could join us at the memorial to pay tribute to those who flew from here on that date, 75 years ago.

We will be joined at the commemoration by representatives from the Airborne forces, both past and present, representatives from the Glider Pilot Regiment, veterans and their families.

Times: 9am at the Visitor Centre, procession leaves at 9:45am prompt. 

The Memorial site is approx. 35 minute walk so please wear appropriate footwear and warm clothes as the ground can be uneven.

Refreshments are available to purchase from the tearoom