A Gloucestershire airfield that played a key role in one of the Second World War's biggest airborne operations was remembered this weekend, 75 years on.

RAF Down Ampney was a crucial part of Operation Market Garden, which aimed to capture one of the vital bridges over the River Rhine by dropping British troops behind enemy lines.

Around 10,000 troops were deployed during the operation - and only 2,000 made it home.

Eight thousand troops didn't return home following Operation Market Garden Credit: Crown Copyright

A special service was held at Down Ampney's All Saints Church to commemorate those involved in the mission.

Among those present to honour the operation were veterans, former glider pilots and Chelsea Pensioners.

The veterans included 96-year-old Lillian West, who was a nurse at RAF Down Ampney during WW2.

The nurses were known as 'Flying Nightingales', as they would load up the aircraft with medical supplies and petrol, fly out to the troops and return with the wounded.

There were hundreds of them. It was our job to look after the wounded soldiers coming back. We were allowed to have a parachute on the way out but not on the way back - that was for the wounded. We had to stay with them even if we ditched in the sea. It feels marvellous to be here today - it was emotional too.

Lillian West, Former Raf Nurse
Veterans, former pilots and Chelsea Pensioners were involved in the service Credit: Crown Copyright

A number of wreaths were laid in the church by guests, including the Dutch ambassador to the UK, and local air cadets paid tribute by taking part in a march-past

The tragic mission from the Gloucestershire airfield was the centrepiece of the Richard Attenborough film 'A Bridge Too Far', which told the story of the troops being dropped up to 60 miles behind enemy lines to capture Nordic bridges in September of 1944.

Wreaths were lain by a number of guests, including the Dutch ambassador to the UK Credit: Crown Copyright