I have just spent a hugely enjoyable day in the company of the Martin Family. Rick and Jane and their twin sons Andrew and Garrett are from Texas. They had already visited Italy and Ireland and were rounding off their trip with a visit to Cambridge. We met under the tower at Great St Mary’s Church and immediately hit it off. A two hour walking tour of Cambridge followed including visits to Emmanuel College (where John Harvard graduated), The Cavendish Laboratory, the Corpus Chronophage and finally King’s College Chapel. By then we were all ready for lunch and grabbed a table in the courtyard at The Eagle. A quick shop for souvenirs at Cambridge Market and then…..
The afternoon involved a very special trip out to Wimpole Hall (about 9 miles from Cambridge). We parked up and walked through the grounds, past the 17th Century Wimpole Hall, through wild pastures sustaining herds of cattle, sheep and goats until we came to the focus of our mission. It is now just another field of lush pasture with no trace left of what used to be on this very spot. This is where a temporary USAF Hospital, complete with maternity wing was established in 1944. In 1958 the 7510 USAF Hospital was where Rick was born. The next year the hospital was closed and all trace of it cleared. So a very special and poignant moment that I was privileged to share with the Martins. We returned to the stable yard for some cold drinks and then made for the American Cemetery at Madingley. We made it by 4.45pm which allowed us time to appreciate this cemetery and respect the young American men and women who lost their lives in WWII. (3,812 graves and a Portland stone wall recording a further 5,127 names of those missing in action.)
The Martin’s dropped me off in Cambridge as they headed for London in preparation for their flight home tomorrow.
It was an absolute pleasure to guide them in and around Cambridge.