Rhine Crossing veterans and Parachute Regimental Association members gather at Sutton War Memorial to mark operation's 68th anniversary

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Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter covering Croydon

Paras who had taken part in the final push into Germany in the Second World War came together to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the Rhine Crossing.

Operation veterans were joined at Sutton War Memorial by both serving and retired members of the Parachute Regimental Association and paid their respects to the men who did not make it home on March 24, 1945.

It started several years ago with veteran Johnny Johnson (pictured below), who had gone in by glider, who would go to the memorial each year to remember his entire platoon of 30 men which was killed.

Sutton Guardian: Private Johnny Johnson laid a wreath at the ceremony

When his friends in the branch heard of this, they started to join him, and it has now grown into a short ceremony.

This year's ceremony started with short prayers and a description of the operation from the Croydon’s PRA chairman Ken Smith and president Colonel John Power.

This was followed by the Last Post, silence and Reveille before brunch and beer.

The Rhine Crossing captured all objectives within hours, including many prisoners, but at the cost of over 1,100 dead and many more wounded, the worst ever single day’s casualties for Allied Airborne Forces.

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