After the retreat from Oosterbeek, General Roy Urquhart reported on the progress of the battle at Arnhem and Oosterbeek at the headquarters of Field Marshal Montgomery.
The next morning, before leaving Montgomery headquarters, Urquhart saw Montgomery come out of his caravan. He waved a letter.
“I wanted to give it to you,” he said to Urquhart.
Urquhart: “It was a typed letter, but Monty said he wrote the concept himself that morning.”
Gen maj. R. E. Urquhart
Commt. 1st airborne division
I need you personally and all officers and men of your division to express my appreciation for everything you have done for the Allied cause at Arnhem.
I would also like to express the admiration and admiration of the entire 21st Army Group for the extraordinary courage shown by your division in the fight against major force majeure on the north bank of the Lower Rhine in Holland.
There is no doubt that operations elsewhere would have been seriously compromised if you had failed. You have not failed and everything is going well elsewhere.
I would like to inform all England of what you said in your last telegram from the Arnhem area:
“We will take all measures to break through rather than surrender. We have done our utmost and will continue to do our best for as long as possible.”
And then all England will say to you, you have done your best. You have all done what was expected of you. We are proud of you.
Many hero facts are mentioned in the annals of the British Army. In our Army we have always drawn strength and inspiration from traditions and strive to emulate the lofty example of those who have gone before us.
Few episodes can be as glorious as the epic poem written at Arnhem, and those who come after you will be able to match the example set by you with the effort of all their powers.
As long as we have officers and men in the armies of the British Empire who do what you have done, we can indeed look to the future with confidence.
In later years it will mean a lot if someone can say, “I fought at Arnhem.”
I request you to convey my best wishes and many thanks to all officers and men of your division.
B. L. Montgomery