Stanley's Story

Stanley’s Story

Alfred Stanley Hope – 16th Parachute Field Ambulance


Stanley Hope was my father’s cousin and the best man at my parents wedding in August 1944. I grew up in the knowledge that he had been killed in the Second World War and I knew that the film, “A Bridge too far”, was a portrayal of the battle in which he lost his life. I knew little else about him or the circumstances in which he lost his life. My father and auntie (Barbara Arms) both spoke fondly and sadly of him, and his loss obviously had had a profound effect on them.

This is Stanley’s story. In setting out to discover what I could about him, all I had were three photographs [the portrait head and shoulders, the posed parachute shot and the wedding photo] and two newspaper cuttings from the Blackburn Times [one recalling landing on the sea and the second confirming he fell at Arnhem]. I never imagined at the outset of my quest, that after over sixty years I would be able to record so much about his service and sacrifice.

This story will, I hope, result in a record of not just his loss, but also his experiences as he served through campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and finally the tragic but inspiring story of the battle for the Arnhem Bridge. It is also a story of the people, coincidences and occurrences that finally led me to a settee in Bedford and a remarkable lady, Dot Orrell.
Having never attempted such an undertaking before, I hope this will be not to difficult to read and that I do justice to the remarkable story that is Stanley’s.

– Chris Hollis

Stanley Earns His Wings

Private Alfred Stanley Hope, poses for the camera at Tatton Park, Cheshire, England.
A proud moment.

The Fallen Remembered

A annual commemoration service for those who fell at Arnhem. At each grave a child stands and whispers the name of the soldier.


The resurrection of the allied soldiers who fell at Arnhem –  back to life to a world of peace.
The artist is Fransje Povel-Speleers.

“Not in vain may be the pride of those who survived and the epitaph of those who fell.”

Winston Churchill

“Well, as you know, I always felt we tried to go a bridge too far”

General Browning