Major Colin Munce RLC
Officer Commanding 47 Air Despatch Squadron RLC
Family and friends of Frank Van Den Bergh, ladies and gentlemen. It is my great honour to be here today to represent 47 Air Despatch Squadron, the Air Despatch Association and Air Despatchers throughout the world. I am eternally grateful to the family of Frank and to Frans Amerlaan for your outstanding efforts in ensuring the message of Frank’s death reached us all in the
. Indeed, I am humbled to be able to join you today in order to pay our respects and say farewell to one of our own. UK
I am sure I speak for everyone here when I say how shocked and saddened we were by the news of Frank’s untimely death. We had drawn great comfort from his presence at the Air Despatch Memorial Service only 4 weeks ago. Despite his recent illness, we fondly remember him as he proudly overlooked the Air Despatch Memorial, looking resplendent in his Air Despatch and Airborne regalia.
Frank van Den Bergh holds a very special place in the hearts of Air Despatchers throughout the world. As you all will know, it is for his tremendous work in commemorating the Air Despatchers at
I will share with you the story of a young Air Despatcher who recently made his first visit to
, only 4 weeks ago. This young man was only 20 years old and had barely heard of Arnhem , never mind understanding what had happened there. After the memorial service, he reflected on what he had just seen and said to me that suddenly ‘it all just made sense’. He had been struck by the magnitude of the effort which Frank and all of our friends in Arnhem Arnhem go to in order to ensure we always remember the Air Despatchers at . Today, we remember Frank and the special part he has played in that. We owe you a debt gratitude for ensuring their story lives on. Arnhem
Indeed, Frank has carried the torch for so long and continually championed the memory of the Arnhem Air Despatchers. His passion and energy in flying the flag is an excellent example for us all to follow. We all know the greatest tribute to Frank’s memory will be to pick up the flag and continue the legacy of his work in
In recognising Frank’s unique and immense contribution to the Air Despatch community, it is easy to forget there was so much more to Frank. Few will disagree when Frank is described as an absolute expert when it comes to the history of Operation Market Garden and the Second World War.
Frank Van Den Bergh, it only leaves me to bid you farewell.
‘Action Stations!’ ‘Red On!’ ‘Green On!’
Safe journey my friend. The name ‘Frank Van Den Bergh’ will always be remembered by Air Despatchers throughout the world.
Vaarwel en goede reis mijn vriend.