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1st Airborne Division - ‘Theirs is the Glory’ Premiere Ticket, 1946
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1st Airborne Division - ‘Theirs is the Glory’ Premiere Ticket, 1946

Measurements: 7.3cm (2.8in) x 6.3cm (2.5in)

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Aluminium. Made from metal recovered from a wrecked Operation Market Garden glider, produced as a ticket for the premiere of the 1946 movie ‘Their’s is the Glory’ (subtitled ‘Men of Arnhem’). The obverse bearing the badge of Bellerophon riding the flying horse Pegasus - the fitting emblem for the airborne forces adopted at the suggestion of the author Daphne du Maurier, wife the commanding officer of the 1st Airborne Division, General Frederick ‘Boy’ Browning. Inscribed verso ‘Theirs Is The Glory / This Souvenir Ticket / is made of metal / from one of the / crashed gliders which / carried the British / 1st Airborne Division / into battle at / Arnhem / on September 17th 1944 / World Premiers / Britain - Holland - Canada / September 17th 1946’.

The 1946 film detailed the British 1st Airborne Division's involvement in the Battle of Arnhem (17 September to 25 September 1944) and became the biggest grossing war movie for nearly a decade. The later film ‘A Bridge too Far’ depicts the operation as a whole and includes the British, Polish and American Airborne forces, while ‘Theirs is the Glory’ focuses solely on British forces and their fight at Oosterbeek and Arnhem.

‘Theirs is the Glory’ featured over 200 veterans of the Arnhem battle, each of whom received £3 a day during filming. Weaving original footage from the battle with re-enactments shot on location at Oosterbeek and Arnhem, the film was shot a year after the battle had ravaged the Dutch streets. As well as veterans, the film also features local people including Father Dyker and Kate ter Horst. With the backing of J. Arthur Rank, the film raised substantial benevolent funds for the Airborne Forces. The director was Brian Hurst, a Gallipoli veteran, who learned his trade in Hollywood under John Ford. The script was honed by Hurst's protege Terence Young who had been in the Irish Guards during XXX Corps’ attempt to relieve Arnhem. The veterans who starred in the film also actively collaborated on the script.

 

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