The 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron Memorial:

Situated alongside the World War 2 Memorial, in the Children’s Chapel of All Saints’ Church, Ruskington, is a Hopton Wood Stone Tablet to the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron.

This was a Reconnaissance Corps unit which formed part of the 1st Airborne Division and was sent to North Africa, before seeing service in Italy and Arnhem.

When the Squadron returned from Italy in New Year 1944 it was moved and billeted in the village and retrained from a Glider squadron to a Parachute one.

After training the 45 members of the Squadron joined Operation Market Garden – the attack on the Rhine Bridges at Arnhem, from which 30 men returned to the village on 28 September 1944.

The villagers were said to be devastated by the loss of so many men. After VE Day, the Squadron saw service in Norway, at Stavanger and Oslo, where it oversaw the withdrawal of German troops.

The return is remembered very well by the ‘Doc’, Douglas Swinscow;

Late in the evening of 29th September we arrived back in the village of Ruskington, near Sleaford in Lincolnshire, where we had been based during the summer before flying to Arnhem. Ten lorries had taken us to the airfield on 17th September: two brought us back. It was after drinking hours when we returned, but our favourite pub in the village, the ‘Shoulder of Mutton’, opened up, and the villagers soon crowded in with us, their eyes sad with apprehension of what they feared we must tell them, for they knew us well and we had many friends among them.

The tears streamed down their faces as we had to say that John [Christie] was killed, Peter [Bucknall] killed, ‘Freddie’ [Gough] a prisoner, Trevor [McNabb] missing, ‘Tony’ [Platt] missing, ‘Jimmy’ [Pearson] missing, one after another endlessly.” (‘Reap a Destiny’ – Dr T.D.V. Swinscow. Pages 118-119)

Shortly after the end of WWII, in September 1947, a Memorial to the Squadron was placed in All Saints Church.  It was unveiled by Major General RE Urquhart.

In addition to a tablet with the names of those lost in action at Arnhem, the memorial has a photograph of the entire squadron shortly after its formation and other memorabilia.

The Memorial is unique amongst the such memorials in Lincolnshire, the county in which many of the units involved in Operation Market Garden were based.  In part, it is also testimony to the close relationship that developed between the Squadron and the village that hosted it.

In 1977 the flag of the successor to the wartime squadron,  the Parachute Squadron Royal Armoured Corps (left) was “laid up with prayer” and added to the memorial.

It marked the union of the respective Old Comrades Associations.

The service was conducted by Canon A.L. Beverley and the lesson read by Colonel Freddie Gough, MC (right). The flag was borne by Mr J. Cooke of Ruskington a former member of 1st Airborne Squadron.

Such was the influence of the Colonel the 1st Recce is also nicknamed: “The Freddie Gough Squadron“.

.… about Colonel Gough’s life after the War

about The 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron and the Battle for Arnhem

The Memorial in All Saints’ Church lists the names of 43 men of the Squadron who gave their lives in all Theatres of the Second World War. The names of the men shown on the Memorial are shown in the Table below:

1st Airborne Squadron Casualties

A.C. BakerG. KayT.J. Quince
F. BrawnR. McGlewP.S. Reid
R. BrumwellT. McGregorW.B. Rew
P.L. BucknallT.V.P. McNabbJ.G. Salmon
L. CairnsR. McSkimmingsW.G. Sloper
F.W. ChiltonD.H.K. MasonJ.G. Smart
J.A. ChristieL. MumfordP.J. Southwell
W.M. EdmondT. MurphyW.C. Stacey
D. GilesA.H. OddS. Tickle
E.J. GorringeJ.R.C.R. ParkT.A.W. Walker
L.P. GouldingA.F. PascalA.J. Waterman
G.E. HoldernessH.E. PearsonM.J. Weaver
N.R. IllingworthH.A. PlattA.J. Wood
J.M. IralaR. Potts
R.W. JakemanD.F. Powell

At the foot of the Plaque is the citation:

From this place, where it had found a home during its last months in England, the Squadron flew to the Battle of Arnhem.

scroll down buttona name to read a little more about the men of the Squadron who gave their lives during Operation Market Garden.     … OR  

 

Lance Corporal 14277635 Alan Coulthurst BAKER, 9 Section, ‘C’ Troop. Son of Charles Coulthurst and Clara (née Patten) Baker, of 514 Bury Old Road, Prestwich. Lancashire. Killed in Action 18 September 1944, Aged 20.

Alan’s body was found on Ginkel Heath, he had been Ambushed and, according to the Roll of Honour published by the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum, Alan was given a field burial on Ginkel Heath beside Amsterdamseweg.

A patrol of 7 jeeps, containing 30 men of C Troop was badly shot up on the Ede-Arnhem main road. The troop had been scouting out from Wolfheze towards the Ginkel Heath when it found itself virtually cut off with enemy troops on all sides.   

Only two jeeps and eight men managed to escape; the other five jeeps were stopped, five of the men killed and the rest taken prisoner.

CWGC Records show that Alan was originally buried in Ginkel Cemetery (isolated plot.) He was reburied on 15 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 1. B. 1.

……. about Alan’s life

 

Trooper 14265164 Frederick BRAWN, 9 Section, ‘C’ Troop. Son of George Albert and Lily (née Johnson) Brawn, of Chasetown, Staffordshire. Killed in Action 19 September 1944, Aged 21 (b. 29 August 1923).

Fred enlisted for the Royal Armoured Corps and was assigned to the Recce Squadron.

He qualified as a military parachutist on Course 112 which ran at RAF Ringway, Manchester, from 17 to 28 April 1944; he then served as a wireless operator with 9 Section, ‘C’ Troop, during the Battle of Arnhem.

It was decided to make a high speed dash back to Oosterbeek via the Amsterdamseweg and Wolfhezerweg. 

Unfortunately, the seven jeeps of C Troop ran into a German ambush, and a heavy burst of machine gun fire raked across the jeep carrying Frederick Brawn, killing him instantly. 

Fred Brawn – just 21 years old – was killed in the Planken Wambuis area, about a mile east from the Planken Wambuis Inn.

His body was found on Ginkel Heath beside Amsterdamsweg.

CWGC Records show that Fred was originally buried in Ginkel Cemetery (isolated plot.) He was reburied on 15 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 1. B. 2.

……. about Freddie’s life

 

Trooper 14286483 Ronald BRUMWELL, 8 Section, C Troop.
Son of Alfred James Brumwell and Lydia (née Forsyth) Brumwell, of Newcastle-on-Tyne. Killed in Action 17 September 1944, Aged 20.

After his Jeep had been ambushed, Ronald was given a field burial in the garden of Duitsekampweg No 9 at Wolfheze. After the bodies of the dead had been recovered from the ambush point they were wrapped in grey army blankets and then buried. A short service was conducted by one of the Roman Catholic padres.

He died in the same action as Lt. John Christie, Lt. Peter Bucknall and Troopers Leslie Percy Goulding and Edward James Gorringe.

John Fairley (see Sources below, pages 69 and 70) quoted Sergeant David Christie, who was serving with C Troop: “They were laid in single file, about one yard between each ma. None of them was wearing any equipment, nor had they any weapons.

All had about ten bullet holes in the back or on the neck. We later found their equipment on the jeep. From this, it was obvious that the Germans had taken them prisoner and then shot every one in cold blood.

CWGC Records state that Ronald was originally buried in “The garden of a house North of the road“. He was reburied on 29 October 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 16. B. 8.

……. about Ronald’s life

 

Lieutenant 237712 Peter Lacey BUCKNALL, 8 Section, C Troop.            Son of Jack Harold and Grace Marie (née Wade) Bucknall, of 125 Edgbaston Road, Birmingham. Killed in Action 17 September 1944, Aged 23.

Peter’s body was found in the garden of Duitssekampweg 9, after his jeep had been ambushed. He died in the same action as Lt. John Christie and Troopers Ronald Brumwell, Leslie Percy Goulding and Edward James Gorringe.

On 18 September 1944 the remainder of C Troop was given the task to help guard the landing zone at Reijerscamp. One of the secondary tasks was to attempt to recover the dead of the previous day.

They found Peter Bucknall’s group in the wood on the other side of the dip. The author of the book Remember Arnhem, John Fairley (see Sources below), wrote about this on page 69 and 70.

He quotes Sergeant David Christie, who was serving with C Troop: “They were laid in single file, about one yard between each ma. None of them was wearing any equipment, nor had they any weapons. All had about ten bullet holes in the back or on the neck. We later found their equipment on the jeep. From this, it was obvious that the Germans had taken them prisoner and then shot every one in cold blood. Lieutenant Bucknall had his face burned right off. I could recognize him by the blue polo-necked sweater he had been wearing and by his identity discs.

CWGC Records state that Peter was originally buried in “The garden of  Duitssekampweg 9“. He was reburied on 17 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 16. B. 5.

……. about Peter’s life

Peter’s father enlisted as Private 390527 J. H. Buckall in 9th London Regiment on 1 September 1914. He also had a sister, Judy, who served with WR.N.S.

 

Corporal 3602783 Leo CAIRNS, Support Troop. Killed in Action between 18 – 25 September 1944, Aged 29. On enlistment he was living in Sunderland. Leo married Nora Addison in the June quarter 1941, in Sunderland, and had a son, Leo, born the following year.

Leo was born in 1915 and originally enlisted in the Border Regiment, on 18 April 1940, he was therefore with the unit when the 31st Independent Reconnaissance Company was created and one of those that volunteered to stay with it when it was converted to the Airborne role. He was initially assigned to ‘B’ Troop and became a Lance Corporal.

During the Battle of Arnhem Leo was probably engaged in the same action as his CO, Lieut. John Alban Christie (see below), but unlike the Lieutenant he escaped.

According to the Roll of Honour published by the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum, Leo drowned in the Rhine during the withdrawal on 25/26 September 1944. His body was recovered from the river on 17 October 1944.

“His body as far as anyone knew was carried down river and was never found – we didn’t know if or where he was buried.

After 40 years a Dutch friend who investigates lost personnel has located his grave.”  [“Remember Arnhem” p.195]

He was buried in Plot 27, Row C, Grave 13, in the village cemetery at Rhenen, Utrecht.

……. about Leo’s life

 

Trooper 6853998 Frederick William CHILTON, 11 Section, ‘D’ Troop. Son of Alfred William and Ada Chilton, of Dagenham, Essex. Died 18 September 1944, Aged 22.

Before joining the Reconnaissance Corps, Frederick had enlisted in The King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

John Fairley (see Sources below -page 66): “At about 0900 hours, D Troop at last located the Germans in a narrow strip of woodland, north-east of the road junction. The Troop immediately engaged and, in the course of the action, Trooper Fred Chilton of Dagenham was shot and seriously injured. 

He had six bullets in the thigh, and Jenkins remembered giving him morphia and marking the time and dose on his forehead with indelible pencil.

Helped by James Pyper, the Troop Sergeant, Jenkins then laid Chilton in a ditch whilst medical aid was summoned to take him to hospital”….”During his time there, he also saw Chilton, who died on that Monday evening as a consequence of clinical shock. 

Frederick’s body was found in front of Tafelberg Hotel, Oosterbeek. Frederick was originally given a field burial in front of the Hotel. CWGC Records show that he was reburied on 20 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 1. C. 9.

……. about Frederick’s service

 

Lieutenant 237906 John Alban CHRISTIE, Commander, Support Troop.  Son of Harold Alban and Edith Margaret (née Johnstone) Christie, of Wallington, Surrey.

He was also the husband of Joyce Madeliene (née Nash) Christie, of 40 The Newlands, Wallington. Died 20 September 1944, Aged 23.

John was k.i.a. whilst attempting to save Jeep and Polsten Gun. Found Body 100 meters west Hartenstein Hotel.

It seems likely that he was probably looking for an advantageous tactical position, in order to site (sight?) his gun. As the jeep drew level with the Hartenstein Hotel, it came under enemy fire.

The first shot missed, and the men were able to jump off the vehicle and scatter for cover. John then ran back to the jeep, started it up, and began to turn it, with the gun in tow, in order to get it off the road.

Just then, there was a loud explosion on the vehicle. I’ve no idea where it came from, although it seemed to me to be a mortar bomb rather than a shell from the SP gun. Whatever it was, it struck Christie full in the chest, and took an arm, as well as part of his shoulder and chest away. Both vehicle and Polsten gun were destroyed, but the astonishing thing was that he actually got out of the jeep, and ran for several yards along the road.

Despite his terrible injuries, John Christie managed to reach the cover where his men were, and it was there that Trp. Bill Bateman sought to comfort him. Seconds later, as he died in Bateman’s arms, Christie’s last words were, “Oh, my God! Oh, my God!“.

According to the Roll of Honour published by the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum, John was given a field burial 100 metres west of the Hartenstein Hotel. He died in the same action as Lt. Peter Bucknall. (See above for details)

CWGC Records show that he was reburied on 10 September 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 1. A. 19.

……. about John’s service

 

Trooper 3060103 William McKinley EDMOND, 9 Section, ‘C’ Troop. Son of William and Joanna M. S. A. Edmond, of Musselburgh, Midlothian; husband of Janet L. A. Edmond, of Musselburgh. Died 17 September 1944, Aged 27 (b. 30 December 1916).

Before joining the Reconnaissance Corps, William had enlisted in The Royal Scots.

 

A patrol of 7 jeeps, containing 30 men of C Troop was badly shot up on the Ede-Arnhem main road. The troop had been scouting out from Wolfheze towards the Ginkel Heath when it found itself virtually cut off with enemy troops on all sides.”

William was hit in the back and dropped about 5 yards from the edge of the wood. He was placed on Christie’s jeep and they set out for the regimental aid post. On the way back, William kept asking for water and saying that he was going to die.

He recovered consciousness for about two minutes. During that time he said to Christie, ‘Jock, I’m dying. Tell my wife I love her and go and see her for me.’ ‘Yes, Jock, I will,’ he replied. He lost consciousness after that and died the following morning.

William’s body was found in the garden of Duitsekampweg 9. CWGC Records state that Peter was originally buried in “The garden of  Duitssekampweg 9“. He was reburied on 17 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 16. B. 9. (See also)

……. about William’s service

 

Trooper 3445870 David GILES, ‘C’ Troop, HQ.  Husband of Muriel Giles (née Cheshire – married 27 February 1940) of Crumpsall, Manchester. He was the youngest son of Henry and Elizabeth (née Millington) Giles. Died 25 September 1944, Aged 32 (b. 7 September 1912).

David was in the same group as L/Cpl. Baker (see above) and was k.i.a. with 5 others after being ambushed.

They were first buried beside one of the destroyed jeeps by Dutch red cross. On the cross it says: “ENGELSE SOLDATEN”  (BRITISH SOLDIERS)   [IWM BU 4132]

David was reported missing, but currently has no known Grave and is commemorated on The Groesbeek Memorial, Panel 1. (right)

However, Oosterbeek War cemetery holds an unknown soldier in Grave 1.B.3. who was also found on the same location as the 5 others, i.e. the temporary cemetery at Ginkel Heath – below.

Also as this man has been buried between Trooper Brawn and Lieutenant Pearson it seems that there must have been found a connection with the 1st Airlanding Reconnaissance Squadron. Trp. E.J. Gorringe, whose name appears below David’s, has now been recognised as having been re-buried in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 16. B. 7.

……. about David’s service

 

Trooper 5727051 Edward James GORRINGE, ‘C’ Troop.  Son of William John and Mary Elizabeth (née Pitman) Gorringe, of West Holloway Farm, Cattistock, Dorset. Died 17 September 1944, Aged 22 (b. March quarter 1922).

Before joining the Reconnaissance Corps, Edward had enlisted in The Dorsetshire Regiment.

He was k.i.a. in the same action detailed above under L/Cpl. Baker and Trp. Brawn. Edward was four men in the first jeep who were killed. The other three were Lieut. Bucknall and Troopers  Ronald Brumwell and Leslie Percy Goulding.

CWGC Records show that Edward was originally buried in the garden of Duitsekampweg 9, where his body was found.

He was reburied in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 16. B. 7., but as an unknown soldier of WW2 “Known Unto God“.

Edward was listed as missing and his name included on The Groesbeek Memorial, Panel 1. (below).

However, in 1987 he was positively identified as being one of the unknown soldiers buried in the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery on 29 October 1945 and his headstone was reworked accordingly.

……. about Edward’s service

 

Trooper 6853872 Leslie Percy GOULDING, No. 8 Section, ‘B’ Troop.    Son of Joseph George and Alice Elizabeth (née Steers) Goulding, of 4 Simms Close, Carshalton, Surrey (1939). Died 17 September 1944, Aged 21 (b. Sept. quarter 1923).

Before joining the Reconnaissance Corps, Leslie had enlisted in The King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

He was killed in action in the same action detailed above under L/Cpl. Baker and Trp. Brawn. He was one of four men in the first jeep who were killed. The other three were Lieutenant Bucknall and Trps. Edward Gorringe and Ronald Brumwell.

The Jeep had been ambushed and Leslie died from a Machine gun burst to the chest.

His body was recovered  in the garden of Duitsekampweg 9.  C.W.G.C. Records show that after being given a field burial in “The garden of  Duitssekampweg 9“, Leslie was reburied on 17 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 16. B. 6.

……. about Leslie’s service

 

Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant 5379474 George Ellis HOLDERNESS, M.I.D., H.Q. Troop.  Son of Charles Ernest and Rose Holderness. George was the husband of Marie (née Clauson – married March quarter 1942) Holderness, of 11 Mayfield Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey (1943).  They had 2 children, Maureen (b. June qtr. 1943) and Rodney (b. December qtr. 1944). George was k.i.a. on 25 September 1944, Aged 30 (b. 2 March 1914, Barian, India), so probably never saw his son..

The India General Service Medal 1909 - British Medals, Pre-WW1George enlisted as a Musician, aged 15, in the R.A.C. and served in the 1932 Burma Campaign. He was awarded the India General Service Medal (1 clasp).

During the Battle of Arnhem George fought in the perimeter positions just to the North-West of the Hartenstein Hotel, HQ 1st Airborne Division, and then helped to organise his small group for the withdrawal.

L/Sgt David Christie, who was with a party of eight, remembers his own experiences on the journey:

“Our route took us through close, wooded country in which, aided by darkness, it was impossible to see anything more than three yards ahead.”

This, as it happened, was all too tragically brought home to another of the Squadron HQ groups, which was under the leadership of [Captain] Geoffrey Costeloe. They were about fifteen in number and had made good progress when, not far south of the Hartenstein, they came under German machine-gun fire from somewhere in the direction of Hotel Tafelberg.

In the ensuing confusion, the party was slightly dispersed, and the rear man, S.Q.M.S. George Holderness, had the job of getting them all back into line. It was whilst doing this that, in the darkness, he approached a standing figure whom he assumed was a member of the group. Unfortunately, it was a German, who shot him dead.

For this action George was “Mentioned in Despatches” (MiD). Mentioned in Dispatches - TracesOfWar.com

SQMS Holderness is officially listed as Killed In Action on 25 September 1944, aged 30 years old. After the battle his body could not be found and he is now commemorated on The Groesbeek Memorial, Panel 1. (right)

……. about George’s service

 

Lieutenant 240045 Norman Richard ILLINGWORTH, Motor Transport Officer for the Squadron. Norman was born in September quarter 1915 (Baptised: St John”s Church, Woking, Surrey.

His parents were Norman and Ethel (née Crothers) Illingworth. Norman, Jnr. died (Home) on 29 March 1944, Aged 29.  Probate Records, 6 July 1944 show £4088 12s (£4088.60 – equiv. to about £232,000 today – 2023) was left to his widow, Dorothy Jean (née Wells), married: June quarter 1942. Address: Middle Hill, Woking, Surrey.

Norman was originally commissioned into the Queen Victoria’s Rifles, a Territorial Army unit. He was Gazetteed 2nd Lieutenant on 25 July 1942, and posted to the 1st Air Landing Squadron Reconnaissance Corps, as it was then known, after he had volunteered for Airborne Forces.

By January 1943 he had been promoted to Lieutenant and went to North Africa in May 1943. It was whilst he was in North Africa, carrying out training, that he was taken ill and he was sent back to England on the 23rd August 1943.

Norman died on the 29th March 1944 at Woking in Surrey and is commemorated at St John’s Crematorium, Woking, Memorial, panel 4 (right).

……. about Norman’s service

 

Trooper 14428239 Jose Maria (Joe) IRALA, 10 Section, ‘D’ Troop. The Midland Evening Despatch. Friday, 17 November 1944, reported that Jose was the “adopted son of Mrs. M. Woodbine, of 24 Meadow-road, Priory Estate, Dudley“. He died on 22 September 1944, Aged 20 [Born 1 January 1924].

On Wednesday, 20 September the main body of the Squadron was gathered opposite the Hartenstein Hotel, awaiting orders from Divisional HQ, when it was reported that a German self propelled gun was heading their way from the Oosterbeek crossroads.

In the scramble to get the jeeps clear ‘Joe’ Irala was caught by a burst of machine-gun fire. John Marshall remembers that:

The jeep had already begun to move, but Trooper ‘Joe’ Irala, who was in the act of jumping on, was hit. As they pulled him aboard, he complained about having been shot in the leg, although it was obvious to the others that it was much more serious. “When I saw what had happened to him,” said Marshall, “I drove straight across to the first-aid post at the Hartenstein. We were shot at continuously on the way, but I didn’t pay any attention to it.”tumba de José María Irala cementerio de guerra de la Commonwealth de Arnhem/Oosterbeek

After being taken to the Hartenstein RAP (Regimental Aid Post), Joe became unconscious and was then taken to the St Elizabeth’s Hospital in Arnhem. He died two days later and was buried there.

C.W.G.C. Records show that after burial in “The grounds of St. Elizabeth Hospital“, Joe was reburied on 24 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 22. A. 5.

……. about Joe’s service

 

Lieutenant H7330 Robert William JAKEMAN,  Son of Dr Robert Gordon and Kate Lilian (née Hird) Jakeman, of Otterhampton, Somerset. He was educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and went up to Merton College, Oxford, with a Postmastership in 1938. (Residence in 1943 – 11 Goldieslie Road, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire.)

Larger memorial image loading...Robert was Gazetted in The Middlesex Regiment on 16 February 1940. He later served with 1st Airlanding Recce Squadron, Recce Corps and took part in the Allied invasion of Italy, during Autumn 1943.

He was killed in action near Martina Franca and Locorotondo, in Taranto, on 10 September 1943, aged 24 (b. June qtr. 1919), and buried in Grave II. A. 25., Bari War Cemetery, Italy.

Another five men, commemorated on the Memorial, were killed alongside Robert in the same action: Trooper Donald Frederick Powell, Trp. Peter Sutherland Reid, Trp. Wilfred George SloperL/Cpl. Thomas James Quince and Trp. Henry James Wood.

……. about Robert’s service 

 

Sergeant 3854428 George KAY, Signals Section, HQ Troop. Son of Joseph and Annie Kay, of Luton, Bedfordshire. Died 3 June 1945, Aged 28.

George enlisted in the Regular Army on the 16 July 1935 he joined The Loyal Regiment. He was an early volunteer for the 1st Air Landing Company, Reconnaissance Corps, as it was then known. He travelled by glider to take part in the Battle of Arnhem, during Operation Market Garden.

He was one of the 138 who escaped in October 1944 as part of Pegasus One, when the Dutch Resistance evacuated 138 men, mostly soldiers trapped in German-occupied territory who had been in hiding since the Battle of Arnhem a month earlier.

Mention in Despatches MiD Bronze Oakleaf 1920-1994 Full SizeDespite his wound, Sgt Kay had fought throughout the battle with another unit and received a well-merited MID [Mentioned in Despatches] for his courage”.

an account of George’s escape(s) from German captivity – in his own words.Larger memorial image loading...

Back in England (Ruskington ?) the Squadron regrouped and were finally readied for action and sent to Norway as part of the Operation Doomsday to disarm the German army.

Unfortunately, George ‘Judd’ Kay was killed in a road traffic accident in Norway, 3rd June 1945, aged 28, at the time of his death. He now lies in Oslo Western Civil Cemetery, Grave 1. C. 3.

……. about George’s service

 

Trooper 7666653 Robert Arthur McGLEW, Joined 1st Airlanding Squadron,  R.A.C. from Royal Army Pay Corps. Died 21 April 1945, Aged 29.

Robert took part in the Battle of Arnhem, during Operation Market Garden. He was captured and taken prisoner by the Germans. He was taken to Stalagluft III, Zagan, Poland (POW No. 253996), He died of his wounds in the camp, on the 21st April 1945, aged 29 years old.Larger memorial image loading...

CWGC Records show that he was originally buried in the Breuna American Cemetery, Grave R.3. This Cemetery was closed on 26 April 1945 and Robert was reburied on 10 October 1947 in Grave3. C. 3., Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany.

……. about Robert’s service

 

Lance Serjeant 14363788 Thomas McGREGOR, 2i/c of No 8 Section in C Troop. Died 17 September 1944, Aged 20. Son of Norman Thorburn and Annie Blyth McGregor, of 21 Ladywell Road, Motherwell, Lanarkshire (1939).

Thomas was killed in the same action as Lieut. Peter Lacey Bucknall (see above).

As Bucknall’s jeep proceeded down into the dip and up the other side it was ambushed by a defensive blocking line of men from the 16th SS Panzergrenadier Battalion. Almost immediately McGregor’s jeep was also fired upon and Trooper Minns was hit and fell out.

The following extract is reproduced from ‘Remember Arnhem’ by John Fairley (see Sources below): “McGregor following standard procedure and perhaps conscious of what had already happened up ahead to Bucknall and the others, ordered dismounted action, and his men ran to take up whatever firing positions they could find in the unpromising  and exposed territory that lay to each side of the road.

There was no time for deliberation on the matter. Thomas and Hasler followed the wounded Minns and dived beneath the jeep. The other three scattered for cover in the sparsely wooded area to the left of the road. There, McGregor threw himself into a shallow ditch, whilst Pearce and Barlow found protection behind the trunks of a pair of slender oak trees. …….

Arthur Barlow remembers what happened then: ‘I began firing around the side of the tree, and straightaway a machine gun started to remove large chunks of bark just above my helmet, I remember seeing Sergeant McGregor rear himself up on his hands to have a look around. He fell flat on his face and died without making a sound’.

Later on Monday 18 September, L/Sgt D Christie in his jeep was sent out to collect the dead. He found one of the Section 8 jeeps. He recalls:

The only member of the crew was Sgt T McGregor, who was lying about 5 yards from the vehicle, with 2 bullet holes through his head and about 7 in his chest…”

C.W.G.C. Records show that after being given a field burial in “The garden of  Duitssekampweg 9“, Thomas was reburied on 17 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 16. B. 10.

……. about Thomas’ service

 

Lieutenant 245232 Trevor Victor Patrick McNABB, M.I.D. Intelligence Officer, HQ Troop. Born 28 March 1922. Son of Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Benbow, DSC, RNVR, and Gladys Mary (née Edwards) McNabb, of 8 St Leonard’s Road, Ealing, London (1939). Died 17 September 1944, Aged 22.

Trevor was Gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in the Recce Corps on 16 October 1942 (London Gazette, 6 November 1942).

Mentioned in Dispatches - TracesOfWar.comTrevor earned a ‘Mention in Despatches‘ for his actions during the Italian campaign. He  then took part in the Battle of Arnhem, during Operation Market Garden.

Records indicate that he was severely wounded by the Germans, was captured and placed onboard a POW transport lorry which was sent to Brummen on 23 September 1944. He was among those injured when another 5 prisoners of war were were shot and killed.

“…. In the meantime another lorry has come to a halt and when 2 airborne soldiers jump from the lorry, one of the guards walks to the rear of the lorry and empties his Schmeisser magazine on the men in the vehicle. Four prisoners and a German guard are killed.

Besides, two of the prisoners are wounded to such an extent that they later die of their wounds.”  A commemorative plaque was later placed in Brummen to remember them (above).    [‘The Massacre at Brummen‘]

Although he survived and was cared for at the Roman Catholic Hospital in Enschede, Trevor subsequently died of his wounds on 27 September 1944, aged 22 years old, and was buried in Grave 195, Enschede Eastern General Cemetery, Overijssel, Holland.

……. about Trevor’s service

 

Trooper 14583993 Raymond McSKIMMINGS, Died 19 September 1944, Aged 19. Son of William and Norah McSkimmings, of Carlisle.

Raymond’s body was found on Ginkel Heath, he had been Ambushed and, according to the Roll of Honour published by the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum, he was given a field burial on Ginkel Heath beside Amsterdamseweg.

A patrol of 7 jeeps, containing 30 men of C Troop was badly shot up on the Ede-Arnhem main road. The troop had been scouting out from Wolfheze towards the Ginkel Heath when it found itself virtually cut off with enemy troops on all sides.   

Only two jeeps and eight men managed to escape; the other five jeeps were stopped, five of the men killed and the rest taken prisoner.

Raymond was originally buried in Ginkel Cemetery (isolated plot.) He was reburied on 15 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 1. B. 17.

……. about Raymond’s life

 

 

Corporal 6920757 Desmond Horace Kinsman MASON, Support Troop. Died 20 September 1944, Aged 21. Son of Frederick John and Mildred Elizabeth Mason, of Clapham, London.

Little had been found about Desmond but he was k.i.a. on the same day as Lieut. John Alban Christie, his Commander in Support Troop.

The Rifle Brigade found Desmond’s body on the corner of Zonneheuvelweg. He was originally buried in Zonneheuvel (isolated grave), and was reburied on 3 September 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 21. A. 3.

……. about Desmond’s life

 

Corporal 6922255 Leslie MUMFORD, Died 20 June 1944, Aged 21. Son of Thomas and Ellen (née Parker) Mumford, of Leicester.

Little has been found about Leslie except that he served with 1st Airborne Recce Squadron, Reconnaissance Corps. He had originally enlisted in the Royal Armoured Corps.

Larger memorial image loading...Leslie died in the Sleaford District area, on 20 June 1944, aged 21 years old, and was taken home for burial at Gilroes Cemetery, Leicester, Section U.U. Grave 233.

Ruskington is, of course, in the Sleaford area so it is possible that Leslie died after returning to the village.

……. about Leslie’s life

 

Corporal 14286328 Thomas MURPHY, Died 17 July 1943, Aged 20. Son of Thomas and Hannah Murphy, of Birtley, Co. Durham; husband of Mary Jane Murphy, of Birtley.

Little has been found about Thomas except that he served with 1st Airborne Recce Squadron, Reconnaissance Corps. By April 1943, the squadron was stationed at Bulford with about 250 men before being sent to North Africa to join the rest of 1st Airborne Division, aboard a converted liner ‘The Staffordshire’, bound for Oran, Algeria. Once in North Africa, a training base was established across the Tunisian border at M’Saken, near Tunis.

Presumably, Thomas went to North Africa with the Squadron in May 1943. After the Axis forces were defeated at Al Alamein and withdrew into Tunisia, via Libya, the Allies regrouped for a final offensive but were strongly resisted. Nevertheless, on 7 May 1943, Tunis fell to the Allied forces and by 11 May the town of Enfidaville, 100 kilometres south of the city, was taken.

Most of those buried as Enfidaville War Cemetery died during the intense final battles of the campaign, particularly at the city of Enfidha.

Thomas was originally buried at “GRR/17/427/2” (not found) and was reburied on 13 January 1944 in Enfidaville British Military Cemetery, Grave 3. B. 3o. 

 

Trooper 14686263 Alfred Herbert ODD  Died 24 September 1944, Aged 19. Son of John Alfred and Grace (née Hutchison) Odd, of Glasgow.

Alfred was part of the Polsten gun crew of Support Troop. His CO was Lt. John Christie (see above). He probably died at the same time as Capt. J.R.C.R. Park (see below).

Alfred was originally buried in a “Mass Grave of 14 at Junction of Road“, near Oosterbeek. This has been identified as “Corner of Bothaweg-Oranjeweg“. CWGC Records show that he was reburied on 28 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 22. A. 17.

Alfred’s father, Pte. 15621 John Alfred Odd, enlisted in the Army on 16 November 1915. He transferred to the RAF in September 1918 and served until August 1919.

……. about Alfred’s life

 

Captain 109575 John Reginald Charles Robert PARK, Troop Commander of ‘D’ Troop. Died 24 September 1944, Aged 19. He was the youngest son (b. 7 February 1923) of Thompson (P.H. Manager) and Mary Elizabeth Park of the Sun Hotel, Westmoreland.

John originally enlisted in the Royal Armoured Corps, before transferring to the Reconnaissance Corps.

Records have this to say about John’s final actions: “Captain Park ordered his men to dig in in the garden, but in view of the growing seriousness of his position decided also to seek advice as to future strategy. As a result, Lieutenant Alan Pascal (below) volunteered to return to Squadron HQ to report on the situation.

Alan conveyed Park’s message that, with the Germans right on his doorstep and his own level of casualties extremely high, he had considerable misgivings about the ability of ‘D’ Troop to hold any longer.” Alan went as high as General Urquhart with his message. “He didn’t interrupt at all, but when we’d finished, he turned to Pascal and said, ‘I’m very sorry, my boy, but I’m afraid you must go back and hold.

James Pyper still remembers the succession of events that brought the long drawn-out agony to a horrific end. “During the afternoon,” he recalls, “we were dug in in the garden of a house. My own trench was right beside a stone wall, and Captain Park and two others were in the next trench along.

Following the first mortaring, there was an exchange of shooting, and it was then that Captain Park said, ‘I’ll change places with you, Sergeant.’ Three times after that we beat them off, until later in the afternoon came an extra fierce mortar barrage.

I remember at one point, shouting ‘Down!’, and when the smoke cleared, we found Captain Park, Lieutenant Pascal and Trooper Walker all still standing upright in the trench by the wall, but with their heads blown off.

John was originally buried in a “Mass Grave at side of a field“, identified as “Corner of Bothaweg-Oranjeweg“. CWGC Records show that he was reburied on 28 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 21. A. 13.

……. about John’s action along with Lt. Pascal

 

Lieutenant 311027 Alan Frank PASCAL, Section Commander of 12 Section, ‘D’ Troop. Died 24 September 1944, Aged 20. Son of Henry Philip and Ada Pascal, of Earley, Reading, Berkshire.

Alan  was granted an emergency commission in the Reconnaissance Corps, as a Second Lieutenant, on the 13 February 1944. He was posted to the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron in February and assigned as the Commander of 12 Section, ‘D’ Troop.

He flew to Arnhem on Sunday, 17 September 1944, from the aerodrome at Barkston Heath and parachuted onto Dropzone ‘X’ near Heelsum in Holland as part of ‘Operation Market-Garden’.

‘D’ Troop were at the rear of the Squadron for the attempted assault on Arnhem Bridge, when they ran into the German blocking position just to the East of Wolfheze railway station. The next day the Squadron, minus ‘C’ Troop, attempted to advance into Arnhem along the main road, the Utrechtseweg, through Oosterbeek, but were stopped by another German blocking position near the Mariendaal area.

Dismounted action was called for and casualties were suffered by the Squadron, one of them in ‘D’ Troop. By Wednesday, 20 September, the Recce Squadron were in defensive position in the northern suburbs of Oosterbeek, with ‘D’ Troop in the area of Steijnweg, between the junctions with Paul Krugerstraat and the more northerly Bothaweg.

Another attack before nightfall at 16.00 hours, this time from both east and west, and two more casualties were immediately sustained due to shelling. Lt. Park’s men held for half an hour, before eventually withdrawing about 150 yards south to a house at the junction of Steijnweg and Transvaalstraat.

Records have this to say about Alan’s final actions: “Captain Park (above) ordered his men to dig in in the garden, but in view of the growing seriousness of his position decided also to seek advice as to future strategy. As a result, Lieutenant Alan Pascal volunteered to return to Squadron HQ to report on the situation.

Alan conveyed Park’s message that, with the Germans right on his doorstep and his own level of casualties extremely high, he had considerable misgivings about the ability of ‘D’ Troop to hold any longer.” Alan went as high as General Urquhart with his message. “He didn’t interrupt at all, but when we’d finished, he turned to Pascal and said, ‘I’m very sorry, my boy, but I’m afraid you must go back and hold.

On his return, Alan found that the dwindling group of weary survivors had taken another heavy mortar attack during his absence and there had been two further casualties. Lieut Pascal was killed in action on Sunday, 24 September 1944, during yet another attack by the Germans upon ‘D’ Troop’s positions.

James Pyper still remembers the succession of events that brought the long drawn-out agony to a horrific end. “During the afternoon,” he recalls, “we were dug in in the garden of a house. My own trench was right beside a stone wall, and Captain Park and two others were in the next trench along.

Three times after that we beat them off, until later in the afternoon came an extra fierce mortar barrage. I remember at one point, shouting ‘Down!’, and when the smoke cleared, we found Captain Park, Lieutenant Pascal and Trooper Walker all still standing upright in the trench by the wall, but with their heads blown off.

John was originally buried in a “Mass Grave at side of a field“, identified as “Corner of Bothaweg-Oranjeweg“. CWGC Records show that he was reburied on 28 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 3. D. 1.

……. about Alan’s action along with Lt. Park

 

Lieutenant 245254 Hubert Ellis (“Jimmy”) PEARSON MC, Troop Officer, HQ Troop. Died 19 September 1944, Aged 23. Son of William Ellis Pearson, and Dora Pearson, of Cambridge. He attended Silcoates School, Wakefield, and St Edmund Hall College, Oxford.

During the Italian Campaign Hubert was taken prisoner on 9 September 1943. Whilst being transported by train, he and several others escaped, only to be recaptured.

On the next train he escaped again and hid in the mountains until he could rejoin Allied forces. He returned to the Ascoli area and waited for the Allied Advance.

“On 22 June 1944 he reported to British troops who had reached Ascoli Piceno, having helped to keep order at a nearby village. Another p.o.w. has remarked on the fine example displayed by Lieut. Pearson in planning and escapes and encouraging others to try also. Due to his leadership many pows escaped.” He was posthumously awarded the Military Cross for his bravery and leadership. (London Gazette, 26 July 1945, p. 3858).

……. Hubert’s full Military Cross citation

Hubert was part of the 1st wave involved in Operation Market Garden in September 1944 and was K.I.A. when the Jeep he was driving was machine gunned by the Enemy.

A patrol of 7 jeeps, containing 30 men of C Troop was badly shot up on the Ede-Arnhem main road. The troop had been scouting out from Wolfheze towards the Ginkel Heath when it found itself virtually cut off with enemy troops on all sides. Only two jeeps and eight men managed to escape; the other five jeeps were stopped, five of the men killed and the rest taken prisoner.

Hubert’s body was found on Ginkel Heath beside Amsterdamseweg. He was originally buried in Ginkel Cemetery (isolated plot). CWGC Records show he was reburied on 15 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 1. B. 4.

On 26 May 2016 Hubert’s medals were sold at auction. The Military Cross was awarded in 1945 posthumously for actions including during the Italian Campaign.

……. about Hubert’s life

 

Captain 224694 Horace Anthony PLATT, HQ Troop. Died 23 September 1944, Aged 30 (b. 24 August 1914). He was the son of Horace Frederick Platt and of Edith Mary Platt (née Zambra), of Woking, Surrey and attended Bryanston School, Blandford Forum, Dorset.

Zambras and Platts-Enhanced-RepairedHe married  Constance Margaret Corrie on Boxing Day 1942. Their daughter, Shirley, was born in the March quarter 1944, she died, aged 5, in 1949.

Records indicate that Horace was captured and placed onboard a POW transport lorry which was sent to Brummen on 23 September 1944.

He was among the 5 prisoners of war were were shot and killed. [“Murdered by the Germans at Brummen while P.O.W.“]

“…. In the meantime another lorry has come to a halt and when 2 airborne soldiers jump from the lorry, one of the guards walks to the rear of the lorry and empties his Schmeisser magazine on the men in the vehicle. Four prisoners and a German guard are killed. Besides, two of the prisoners are wounded to such an extent that they later die of their wounds.”                          [Source:The Massacre at Brummen‘]

To try and hush up the crime, the 4 men were buried in the town of Enschede, where eventually those who later died of their wounds (Major Cotterell and Lt. McNabb) were also buried.

Horace now lies in Grave 195, Enschede Eastern General Cemetery, Overijssel, Holland. A commemorative plaque was later placed in Brummen to remember them (above).

……. about Horace’s service

 

Lance Corporal 3602724 Richard POTTS, Driver with the Motor Transport for HQ Troop. Died 13 November 1944, Aged 29. Son of Richard and Mary Potts; husband of Kathleen Potts, of Goosnargh, Lancashire.

Portrait of

Little has been found about the circumstances by which Richard received the wounds from which he died. The actions of HQ Troop are detailed on S.Q.M.S. George Ellis Holderness’ commemoration account above.

Richard was recovered by The Border Regiment and taken to Hospital in Apeldoorn where he Died of Wounds on 13 November 1944. He was buried in  Apeldoorn Municipal Cemetery.

CWGC Records show he was reburied on 4 October 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 14. B. 13.

……. about Richard’s service

 

Trooper 14215611 Donald Frederick POWELL, 1st Airlanding Recce Squadron. Reconnaissance Corps, R.A.C. Died 10 September 1943, Aged 20. Son of Frederick Charles and Ethel Judith Powell, of Wallington, Surrey.

Larger memorial image loading...He served with 1st Airlanding Recce Squadron, Recce Corps and took part in the Allied invasion of Italy, during Autumn 1943.

He was killed in the same action as Lieut. Robert William Jakeman, near Martina Franca and Locorotondo, in Taranto, on 10 September 1943, and buried in Grave II. A. 40., Bari War Cemetery, Italy.

L/Cpl. Thomas James Quince, Trp. Wilfred George SloperTrp. Peter Sutherland Reid and Trp. Henry James Wood, died the following day (see below).

……. about Donald’s service 

 

Lance Corporal 5347663 Thomas James (“TJ”) QUINCE,  Died 11 September 1943, Aged 23. Son of James and Edith Quince; husband of Patsy Quince, of Boscombe, Bournemouth, Hampshire.

He served with 1st Airlanding Recce Squadron, Reconnaissance Corps and took part in the Allied invasion of Italy, during Autumn 1943.

Larger memorial image loading...Thomas was killed in an ambush near Martina Franca and Locorotondo, in Taranto, on 11 September 1943, and buried in Grave II. A. 30., Bari War Cemetery, Italy.

Trp. Peter Sutherland Reid and Trp. Wilfred George Sloper (see below) were killed in the same action. The day before, 10th, Lieut. Robert William Jakeman, Trp. Donald Frederick Powell and Trp. Henry James Wood, were also killed in action in the same area, and are commemorated on the Memorial with Thomas.

……. about Thomas’ service 

 

Trooper 7939041 Peter Sutherland REID. Died 11 September 1943, Aged 21. Son of Maj. Peter Reid, M.B., Ch.B., D.P.H., R.A.M.C., and of Alice Isabella Reid (née Simpson), of Buckie, Banffshire.

Peter served with the Royal Armoured Corps before his transfer to the Recce Corps and took part in the Allied invasion of Italy, during Autumn 1943. He was killed in action near Martina Franca and Locorotondo, in Taranto

Larger memorial image loading...He was originally buried at G.R. “11HGS 2021“. CWGC Records show he was reburied on 5 May 1944 in Grave II. A. 33., Bari War Cemetery, Italy. Trp. Thomas James Quince and Trp. Wilfred George Sloper were killed in the same action.

The day before, 10th, Lieut. Robert William Jakeman and Trp. Donald Frederick Powell were also killed in action in the same area, and are commemorated on the Memorial with Thomas.

……. about Peter’s service 

 

Trooper 14297309 William Brown REW. Died 11 July 1944, Aged 20. Son of John and Margaret Rew, of Bannockburn. Scotland.

Once back in Britain from the Italian Campaign. the squadron was initially billeted at Spalding, Lincolnshire, before being moved on to a new home at Ruskington in the New Year 1944. In February 1944 it became clear that glider resources would be limited, it was decided that a partial conversion was required; a squadron contingent would be required to jump into action.

With its revised role the unit became known as 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron and extensive training was carried out both for the squadron’s new parachutists at  Ringway (No 1 Parachute Training School), Manchester.

Larger memorial image loading...Records show that William was “Killed on exercise due to parachute failure“. His death was registered in the Grantham District, Lincolnshire, reflecting the Squadron’s Lincolnshire base.

His body was returned home to Scotland and he was buried in his family Churchyard of St. Ninian’s, Bannockburn, Compt. C.7. Grave 28. His parents were later buried with William. [Although eligible for a CWGC headstone, the family must have opted for their own private design.]

 

Trooper 14655734 James Godfrey SALMON, ‘C’ Troop. Died 14 September 1944, Aged 19. Son of James Thornehill and Minnie (née Pickett) Salmon, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

James was part of the 1st wave involved in Operation Market Garden in September 1944 and was K.I.A., with many others in ‘C’ Troop, when the Jeep he was travelling in was ambushed and machine gunned by the Enemy.

A patrol of 7 jeeps, containing 30 men of C Troop was badly shot up on the Ede-Arnhem main road. The troop had been scouting out from Wolfheze towards the Ginkel Heath when it found itself virtually cut off with enemy troops on all sides.

Only two jeeps and eight men managed to escape; the other five jeeps were stopped, five of the men killed and the rest taken prisoner.

James’ body was found on Ginkel Heath, he had been Ambushed and, according to the Roll of Honour published by the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum, he was given a field burial on Ginkel Heath beside Amsterdamseweg.

CWGC Records show that he was reburied on 15 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 1. B. 13.

……. about James’ service 

 

Corporal 5498161 Wilfred George SLOPER,  Died 11 September 1943, Aged 24 (b. 2 August 1919). Son of Frederick George and Winifred Bertha (née Ayling) Sloper, of 70 South Street, Andover, Hampshire (1939).

Robert was engaged to 19 year old Elizabeth (Betty) Curtis. She “Fell Peacefully Asleep” just 2 weeks after Wilfred was killed.

He is named on her headstone (left), with the poignant message: “Neither Knowing. Waiting Above“.

Wilfred served with the Hampshire Regiment before his transfer to the Recce Corps and took part in the Allied invasion of Italy, during Autumn 1943.

He was killed in action in an ambush near Martina Franca and Locorotondo, in Taranto, Italy.

Wilfred was originally buried at G.R. “11HGS 2023“. CWGC Records show he was reburied on 9 May 1944 in Grave II. A. 29., Bari War Cemetery, Italy. Trp. Thomas James Quince, Trp. Peter Sutherland Reid and Trp. Henry James Wood, were killed in the same action.

The day before, 10th, Lieut. Robert William Jakeman and Trp. Donald Frederick Powell were also killed in action in the same area, and are commemorated on the Memorial with Thomas.

……. about Wilfred’s service 

 

Sergeant (Air Gunner) R/287355 John Christopher SMART, Royal Canadian Air Force, 22 OTU Squadron. Died 18 December 1944, Aged (just) 18 (b. 5 December 1926). Son of Henry Fred and Amy Beatrice Smart, of Lakeview, Ontario, Canada.

On 18 December 1944 John took off from Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield, Warwickshire, on a Training Flight, in a Vickers Wellington Mk. X, long-range medium bomber, serial number NC494.

The aircraft crashed near Chipping Warden airfield, on a navigational exercise, killing John and the five other crew members: Sgt. R/220081 C.E. Anderson; F/O J/42195 G.E.B. Forbes; Sgt. R/276685 S.S. Galvin; F/L  J/43513 P.A.C. Maeder, and F/O C/24753 W.F. Scott.

All were serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force and all were buried with John in Brookwood Military Cemetery. John is also commemorated on the International Bomber Command Memorial at Lincoln.

It has not been established quite why John’s name was included on the Plaque in All Saints’ Church. It is hoped some further local research will lead to more details.

 

Lance Corporal 5507635 Peter John SOUTHWELL, ‘A’ Troop. Died 3 May 1945, Aged 23 (b. 18 February 1922). Son of John Thomas Southwell and Alice Emma (née Tench) Southwell, of 18 Coleville Road, Portsmouth (1939).

Peter enlisted into The Hampshire Regiment on 4 July 1940 and then he volunteered for Airborne Forces. He transferred to the Glider Pilot Regiment on 26 March 1942.

For some reason he failed that selection, and was posted to the 1st Air Landing Company, Reconnaissance Corps. He was assigned to ‘A’ Troop, and under the command of Captain Thomas Firbank.

In May 1943 he sailed, with the newly named 1st Air Landing Reconnaissance Squadron, as part of the 1st Airborne Division to North Africa  and in December 1943 he returned, with the Squadron, to England (Ruskington).

Larger memorial image loading...On Sunday, 17 September 1944 he took off from Barkston Heath aerodrome on board a Dakota, bound for D.Z. ‘X’ near Heelsum in Holland as part of ‘Operation Market Garden‘. He fought throughout the battle, with Lieut Graham Wadsworth in temporary command of the section, and escaped back across the Lower Rhine on the night of 25/26 September 1944.

On 3 May 1945, whist preparing for an airborne exercise, Peter was hit by a runaway lorry at Tarrant Rushton Airfield, Dorset and was killed, aged 23. He now lies at rest in Shaftsbury Borough Cemetery, Dorset, Grave 822.

[Peter’s father, Pte. 204954 John Thomas Southwell, enlisted in the Lancashire Fusiliers on 9 December 1915. He was wounded [“GSW – Rt. side 27/5/18“] and was discharged in November 1919.]

……. about Peter’s service 

 

Lance Serjeant 6087978 William Clifford STACEY. 2nd i/c of ‘C’ Troop. Died 17 September 1944, Aged 22. Son of Percy Thomas and Anne Elizabeth Barbara (née Goudie) Stacey. In December 1942 William married Lily Emily Fagg, of Warminster Wiltshire. They had 2 children, William (b. March quarter 1943) and Barbara (b. September quarter 1944 – whom William might never have seen).

Before transferring to the Recce Corps, William had enlisted in the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment on 12 August 1940 (Pte. 6103003).

In the battle for control of the Bridge at Arnhem the Squadron, after landing, had to drive straight to the bridge in front of the main force. This would take them into the northern suburbs of Oosterbeek, where they could pick up the road that led to Arnhem. But the plan collapsed very quickly as the men came under heavy German resistance.

We saw them (other Recce jeeps) come under heavy fire ….Sgt ‘Bill’ Stacey was one of those who deployed to the left and Ted Hares still recalls Stacey attempting a solo reconnaissance down towards McGregor’s vehicle, only to be shot at from a point on the railway somewhere to his right.

As Stacey lay in the road with a stomach wound, Hares recalls how he shouted Stay back – I’ve been shot, but try to help me. Calling for assistance, Lt Foulkes, who was only a short distance away, ran over with Tpr Dodson. Unfortunately they found Stacey too heavy to move and,as the bullets kicked up the earth around them, he was hit again, this time more seriously.

Later on Monday, 18 September, L/Sgt D Christie in his jeep was sent out to collect the dead. He found one of the Section 8 jeeps.

The only member of the crew was Sgt T McGregor, who was lying about 5 yards from the vehicle, with 2 bullet holes through his head and about 7 in his chest…..We found Sgt Stacey also dead. He had 1 bullet in the back and 2 in his stomach. By the pool of blood around him, it was obvious that he had bled to death.”

William was buried by local Air Raid Wardens in the  ‘Onder Bomen‘ General Cemetery at Renkum (Renkum Communal Cemetery). CWGC Records show that he was reburied on 22 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek Cemetery, Grave 15. A. 4.

……. about William’s service 

 

Trooper 3460967 Stanley TICKLE, ‘C’ Troop. Died 25-26 September 1944, Aged 33. He was born 20 February 1911, the son of Elijah and Alice (née Jacks) Tickle. Stanley was married to to Elsie (née Nelson) [later ‘Sangster’]. They had a daughter, Elsie, born 22 November 1935. Before the War they were living at 106 Ruke Lane, Pendlebury, Lancashire.

Before transferring to the Recce Corps Stanley had enlisted in the Lancashire Regiment.

After suffering heavy casualties running into an ambush at Wolfheze, trying to reach Arnhem on Sunday 17 September 1944, ‘C’ Troop was again in trouble when running into another ambush along the Amsterdamseweg between Ede and Wolfheze.

Stanley was in the 2nd jeep, together with Sergeant Fred Winder (made it back across the river), Trooper Ken Cross (made it back across the river) and Trooper David Giles, who was killed (see above).

After the battle at Arnhem Stanley’s body could not be found and he is now commemorated on The Groesbeek Memorial, Panel 1. (right).

The local press, when reporting Stanley as ‘missing’, stated that the Officer Commanding had told Stanley’s wife that he had last been seen on the river bank (R. Rhine), prior to crossing during the evacuation of Arnhem on 26 September.

The likelihood is that Stanley drowned whilst attempting to cross (swim) the river. A similar fate befell Trp. L. Cairns (see above) although his body was recovered.

……. about Stanley’s service 

 

Trooper 14303048 Thomas Alfred Williamson WALKER, ‘D’ Troop. Died 24 September 1944, Aged 20 (b. 24 March 1924). Son of John Percival and Dorothy Deighton (née Cornell) Walker, of 41 Raiselands Croft, Penrith, Cumberland (1939).

Thomas enlisted in the Royal Armoured Corps in 1941, transferring to the Recce Corps before the Battle of Arnhem. John Fairley(see Sources below – page 66): “At about 0900 hours, D Troop at last located the Germans in a narrow strip of woodland, north-east of the road junction. The Troop immediately engaged.”

James Pyper still remembers the succession of events that brought the long drawn-out action to a horrific end. “During the afternoon,” he recalls, “we were dug in in the garden of a house. My own trench was right beside a stone wall, and Captain Park and two others were in the next trench along.

Following the first mortaring, there was an exchange of shooting, and it was then that Captain Park said, ‘I’ll change places with you, Sergeant.’ Three times after that we beat them off, until later in the afternoon came an extra fierce mortar barrage.

I remember at one point, shouting ‘Down!’, and when the smoke cleared, we found Captain Park, Lieutenant Pascal and Trooper Walker all still standing upright in the trench by the wall, but with their heads blown off.

Thomas was originally buried in a “Mass Grave at side of a field“, identified as “Corner of Bothaweg-Oranjeweg“. CWGC Records show that he was reburied on 28 August 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 21. A. 10.

……. about Thomas’ action along with Lt. Pascal

 

Captain 149249 Arthur John WATERMAN, Killed in Action 2 October 1943, Aged 24.  Husband of Gillian (née Tresawna) Waterman, of Fordingbridge, Hampshire.

Arthur enlisted in the Royal Tank Regiment in 1941 before transferring to the Royal Armoured Corps before joining the Recce Corps. He took part in the  Allied invasion of Italy, during Autumn 1943 and was stationed at Gioia delle Colle, Italy.

At 8.05 a.m. on 1 October 1943 F/O Ian Hyde and his crew took off from Goubrine Airfield at Sidiel Hani in Tunisia, where the 1st Airborne Division had their headquarters, for a mail flight to Gioia delle Colle, in Italy. They were carrying five bags of mail, four containers and four panniers of equipment for the Royal Engineers.

Weather conditions were described as “thundery”. Having reached its destination safely and picked up two passengers, the aircraft took off again at 8.00 a.m. the next morning (2nd) but went missing on its return journey. Its fate and those of its passengers and crew is unknown. The Luftwaffe made no claims in the area that day.

Arthur was one of the passengers on the plane, the other being Major Roger Pertwee, 1st (Airborne) Battalion, Border Regiment.

The crew were all of 296 Squadron and all now commemorated on The Malta Memorial.

Arthur, of course, has no grave and is commemorated on the Brookwood (1939-45) Memorial, Panel 1, Column 3 (right).

……. about Arthur’s action 

 

Trooper 14642400 John Michael Joseph WEAVER, ‘A’ Troop. Killed in Action 19 September 1944, Aged 19.  Son of John William and Violet (née Diggle) Weaver, of Chorley, Lancashire.

On Sunday, 17 September 1944 John took off from Barkston Heath aerodrome on board a Dakota, bound for D.Z. ‘X’ near Heelsum in Holland as part of ‘Operation Market Garden‘. He fought throughout the battle, with Lieut Graham Wadsworth in temporary command of the section.

CWGC Records show that John was originally buried in “Oosterbeek – 180 yds. west of the Hartenstein Hotel“, where his body was found.

He was reburied on 10 September 1945 in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave 1. A. 12.

……. about John’s service

 

Trooper 5345293 Henry James WOOD, Killed in Action 11 September 1943, Aged 19.

Henry served with the Royal Berkshire Regiment before his transfer to the Reconnaissance Corps and took part in the Allied invasion of Italy, during Autumn 1943.

Larger memorial image loading...He was killed in an ambush near Martina Franca and Locorotondo, in Taranto, on 11 September 1943, and buried in Grave II. A. 31., Bari War Cemetery, Italy.

Another five men, commemorated on the Memorial, Lt. Robert William Jakeman, Trp. Donald Frederick Powell, Trp. Peter Sutherland Reid, Trp. Wilfred George Sloper and L/Cpl. Thomas James Quince were killed alongside Robert in the same action.

……. about Henry’s service

 

Sources: