DOZENS of ex-servicemen joined together with current soldiers to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem.

A special regimental service was held at St Cuthbert’s Church yesterday, to remember all those who gave their lives fighting in one of the bloodiest battles involving British troops in World War II. Many of the losses suffered were by The 1st Battalion Border Regiment.

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The battle saw thousands of Allied troops parachuting behind Nazi lines in the Netherlands to secure key bridges across the Rhine.

Although it is seen by many as a great disaster - only 283 men out of 788 returned home - some say it laid the foundations for the Allied victory the following May.

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Echoing the latter sentiment in his address to the congregation, was vicar of St Cuthbert’s Church reverend Keith Teasdale. He said: “It is wrong it should be treated as a defeat.

“It is thanks to that campaign and that battle that troops managed to get so far and sent the Nazis on the run.

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“They were fighting to make ground. There were some errors of judgement, but it should never be described as a defeat.”

He added that the battle achieved a lot.