On 10 February FHS hosted a reception for Sarah Schantz, a visitor from the States. It was her grandfather, Wally Glavor who ‘liberated’ the Union Flag during the VE Day celebrations in the Market Place. Wally was a US Army Serviceman from the 186th Military Hospital in Fairford Park, 1944-45.
In 1998 Wally had a fit of remorse and returned the flag via Ralph Wilkins, who lives in Cheltenham, whose cousins Cynthia and Sheila went to America to live in 1948 and were friends of Wally Glavor. The flag was kept first by Fairford Town Council and then in the care of Fairford History Society and has since been framed.
Sarah was able to meet former Town Councillors who were in the original picture that appeared in the newspaper in 1998, members of Fairford History Society, present Councillors and also former US Airman Frank Dailey, the RAF Fairford site director.
Sarah was presented with a copy of ‘Fairford Images’ by June Lewis-Jones, which has had article about Wally Glavor, a 1955 Frith print of Fairford Mill and a baseball cap worn by Wally at one of the 186th Hospital reunions, which had been in the FHS Archive.
Edwin Cuss presented Sarah with a set of photographs of the Military Hospital which he had compiled and she was then taken up to Fairford Park to revisit the site of the former Hospital, which then became the Polish Hostel.
During the week Sarah was taken on a tour of places that her grandfather might have visited and she returned to San Francisco a few days later.