Sergeant Wilfred E Oldham

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.

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Service History

Latest Comments

Dawn Gethins said:
Hello Mr Oldhak
I have just read about your father, what a remarkable man and I am delighted to hear of his recognition in the New Year Honours list.

I really hope you do not mind me writing.

I am currently trying to find about my grandads brother who was killed at the Battle of Arnhem during Operation Market Garden.

I recognise this is s long shot but just wondering if your dad remembers him or knew him. He was in D company with the 10th Parachute Battalion and his name is James (Jim) Binks and lived in Liverpool.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Yours sincerely

Dawn Gethins
Liam Hedges said:
Hello sir

I have met wilf on a number of occasions he is a down to gentleman and has time for anyone.

I have met him though the air cadets and I was luck enough to be poppy selling when his place in the centre of Radcliffe was unveiled in my cadet uniform and we got asked to attend the service and he had all the time in the world for us and was asking us if we had any family who served in ww2 and he was really interested in my great grandad who served in North Africa and Italy and the stories I know of him and he told me about when he parachuted down into his drop zone for operation market garden.

I hope to see him again soon

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