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'Hitler's stones' to be part of monument to the Royal Engineers who helped defeat him

Getting a little ahead of himself, Hitler had stone quarried in Norway so a monument to his victory over the Norwegian people could be built in Berlin. Airborne Royal Engineers helped to defeat Hitler, and an 82-year-old Norwegian architect is fulfilling a lifelong dream by building them a memorial, using some of 'Hitler's stones'.

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Captain Marty Willson, Royal Engineers, receives the first stones for the base of the memorial. Protected since the war by Norwegian law, the stones were released for the memorial by order of the Norwegian Government.
Image: Cpl Rupert Frere RLC, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010

The new monument to honour the British Royal Engineers who helped liberate Norway from the Nazis in 1945 is being built at Rock Barracks, Woodbridge Airfield, Suffolk.

. . .Rock Barracks is the home of 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault), the Army's airborne Royal Engineers. Soldiers from their antecedent units were instrumental in the liberation of Norway in 1945 and, once the war was won, were helped by a young 18-year-old named Leif Johannessen.

Mr Johannessen, now 82, trained as an architect and never forgot the contribution made by the Sappers to the liberation of his country.

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Image: Airborne Engineers

'This monument', said Leif, 'is a gift to say thank you and honour the British soldiers who helped liberate my country. The boys who came to Norway in 1945 were from the Airborne Division with the Pegasus badge on their arm and it became a favourite symbol of mine. . . .'

The monument will be unveiled in the spring: A Pegasus statue, standing on top of parachute wings, as used by the Parachute Regiment, standing atop a mast, itself on a base, with the stones around the base. Some of its metal comes from the German battleship Tirpitz.

A fitting tribute to the energy and courage of the Airborne Engineers.

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