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Monday, September 20, 1999 Published at 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK

UK: Wales

A jump back in time at Arnhem

Gus Woods begins his descent into Arnhem

A veteran of the Second World War's Battle of Arnhem has made his last commemorative parachute jump outside the Dutch town.

BBC Wales's Sue Charles: "The 77-year-old was welcomed by Dutch civilians rather than German gunfire."
In September 1944, 10,000 paratroops were dropped in a daring operation to seize the strategically important Arnhem Bridge.

The first time 77-year-old Gus Woods from Monmouth in south east Wales, jumped the 12,000 ft, it was to drop behind enemy lines.

[ image: Mr Woods, 77, ensures his batallion's memory is kept alive]
Mr Woods, 77, ensures his batallion's memory is kept alive
This weekend, though, his second and final jump marked the 55th anniversary of the operation and a tribute in order to keep the memory of his comrades alive.

But he said it would be his last. "You can go on, as some people want to, as long as your doctor will sign the medical certificate.

"But by the time you are 80, 85 or 90, there's bound to be an accident and the best time to stop is on the 55th anniversary," he said.

Welcomed by Dutch civilians, Mr Woods ensured that the veterans' mark on the town will endure.

The 10th Parachute Batallion have left their ceremonial flag in the Dutch town - the final act for the men played a prominent role in the attack.

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