THOSE who served in the Free Czechoslovak Army (FCA), based in Leamington during the Second World War, will be remembered in the town at the weekend.
A wreath will be laid at the Czech War Memorial in Jephson Gardens on Sunday (June 12), at 11am. Representatives of the Czech and Slovakian Embassies in London are expected to attend along together with Leamington Mayor Ann Morrison.
The informal ceremony is held each year and is organised by the Friends of the Czechoslovakian Memorial Fountain, a newly-formed group set up to ensure the long-term survival of the memorial in the shape of a parachute.
It also commemorates one of the most daring undercover missions of the war which saw Czech paratroopers assassinate Reinhard Heydrich – head of the German Security Service and architect of the plans for the extermination of the Jews in Europe.
The Friends publicity officer Alan Griffin said: “Nearly all of the old Czech soldiers who funded the erection of the fountain back in 1968 have now passed away but it is very important that those of our generation make every effort to ensure that such a significant international memorial doesn’t fall to pieces through lack of interest.
“It is an important piece of our local history but it has much greater significance in the context of the Second World War and the struggle against Nazism in occupied Europe.”
The Friends have produced an illustrated booklet which tells the story of the fountain and the men whose served. Copies of the booklet, priced £3.50, will be available on Sunday from The Studio near the fountain where there will also be a display about the events that lead up to the assassination of Heydrich on the streets of Prague in 1942.