Wilfred Edward Oldham was born in August 1920. He joined Airborne Forces serving with 12 Platoon, B Company of the 1st Battalion, The Border Regiment (Airborne) and took part in the Battle of Arnhem, during Op Market Garden.
He was one of the few who successfully escaped across the River Rhine at the end of the Battle.
Wilf Oldham is my dad and there aren't the words to say just how proud of him I am. I've always known he was a soldier but it is really only over the last few years that I have got to know more about it, particularly in relation to Arnhem. Dad goes on the annual pilgrimage to Arnhem, where he has been staying with the same host family for about twenty years.
I can't possibly profess to know what our soldiers went through during Operation Market Garden but I have come to realize over the past few years that they were profoundly affected. My dad had his ninetieth birthday at the end of August 2010 and we had a party for him. People came from far and wide, including his Dutch 'family' and friends from Holland.
Sgt Johnny Peters was an honoured guest, and gave a speech that moved me to tears, and gave me a little bit more insight into why such bonds endure over the years. Two more of Dad's comrades were also at the party, Jack and Norman. We have a fantastic photograph of the four of them all together.
My dad has been a fantastic father to both myself and my sister, not to mention Granddad and Great Granddad. I couldn't ask for a better Dad - he has been there for us all, in good times and in bad and he is loved as much as any Dad can be.