[page last updated 13 May 2015]
My quest for information about this squadron began in 1979 when my great aunt, the sister-in-law of my grandfather told me that he had been a parachutist and died in the war. That was about as much as she could recall. My mum knew even less than that. My late great aunt was the catalyst that planted a seed of curiosity, that has grown considerably as the decades have passed.
A few years after the conversation with my great aunt, when I was in my teenage years, I wrote to the MOD asking if it was possible to get his service record. After some correspondence back and forth, ordering and sending copies of marriage and birth certificates to prove I was entitled to the information, I was duly sent a typed up letter of his career and the location of his grave in Germany.
This was long before the internet and researching anything was a huge struggle.
I visited the Middleton Street, London centre for Births, Marriage and Deaths in the course of getting proof of who I was to satisfy the MOD archives department, and discovered that they held an index of death certificates for Officers killed overseas. There was my grandfather's name. So I ordered his death certificate.
In the 1990's I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Germany to visit my grandfather's grave with my sister. We were and still are, as far as I know, his only relatives to have made it to the cemetery to visit his last resting place.
Thus began a journey to try and fill in lots of blank spaces about his life. I now know that this is something which many descendants and relatives of service men and women of WW2 feel duty bound to do. Not just to satisfy their own curiosity, but to be able to understand and explain their relative's life and their part in the war, to future generations of the family.
The medium of the internet, allows us to share our finds with family across the globe, who don't have much of a hope of ever getting to visit all the museums and archives in the UK, but still yearn to know a bit more about their ancestor's war service.
I am indebted to the many staff who work at the various archives, for their continued assistance.
To the men and women of the CWGC who strive in all weathers to keep our fallen ancestors last resting places in such pristine condition.
To the authors and web-writers who have done so much research on WW2, and published it, which is now making my researching so much easier.
To men who served and many of the family members of the 591 Antrim Parachute Squadron, who have contacted me.
To my brother, CEO of www.findshorty.com who kindly offered to host this website free of charge, so it doesn't need adverts and distractions, and for his occasional help at odd hours of the day and night, when I get stuck with technical issues.
Findshorty.com are not responsible for the design and layout of this website. They would do a far better job of it, with whistles and bells on, if they had been allowed to. In designing and writing it myself, its simplicity means I can correct mistakes and update web pages quickly.
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