Under the auspices of the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity the Airborne Memorial Service is organised by a Dutch team, supported by more than 100 volunteers.
The NL Team
From 1946 until the 25th commemoration in 1969 the Airborne Memorial Service was organised by the Oosterbeeks Airborne Committee in cooperation with the Airborne Forces Security Fund (later PRAFC). From 1970 the organisation was carried out by mr. Van Lerven and mr. Rudolphie. Jan Rudolphie MBE led the organisation on his own from 1975 until 1984 and from 1985 until 1994 together with Lieutenant Colonel Gerrit Pijpers OBE (retr).
Pijpers took over in 1994 and involved Eugène Wijnhoud MBE in 1995. In 2002 Jaap van Genderen MBE joined the team. After the 65th anniversary in 2009 Pijpers stepped down. In 2017 Erik van der Meiden was added to the organisation team.
In 2020 Wijnhoud handed over to Van Genderen and Van der Meiden. In 2021 the team was brought back to three members by the arrival of Dennis van Asselt. Jaap van Genderen decided in 2022 to take a step back after 20 years of service. From 2023 the NL Team consists of:
- Mr. Erik van der Meiden and;
- Mr. Dennis van Asselt.
Every year the organisation team can count on more than 100 enthousiastic and very committed volunteers, the members of the Koninklijke Harmonie of Oosterbeek and members of British, Polish and Dutch Armed Forces.
THE PARACHUTE REGIMENT AND AIRBORNE FORCES CHARITY
The Airborne Memorial Service is organised under the auspices of the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity (PRAFC). One of the objectives of this organisation is the promotion and maintenance of the heritage of the Parachute Regiment and the Airborne Forces. The organisation of the Airborne Memorial Service in Oosterbeek is part of this objective.
The history of the PRAFC goes back to 1942 when the Airborne Forces Security Fund (AFSF) was founded. The Fund was founded to support all members of the Airborne Forces in need and distress. This included supporting the costs of veterans making pilgrimages to Arnhem.
In 2009 the Parachute Regiment Charity (PRC) was founded. The PRC took on the responsibility for the heritage and traditions of the Parachute Regiment like the funding to manage and support the museum collections and funding of the regimental presence at Arnhem and Normandy.
The closer overlap and cooperation between the AFSF and PRC and shared ambitions for the future led to a merge of the separate entities into The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity. In the United Kingdom the charity uses the brand name "Support our Paras”.