Sunday, August 21, 2016

Identifying the Missing of Arnhem Oosterbeek

1. Cumbria's Museum of Military Life, Carlisle
Located in Alma Block, Carlisle Castle
(Previously the Border Regiment & KORBR Museum)
2. Arnhem Block, Carlisle Castle, Cumbria
[Honouring 1st Bn Border Regiment at Arnhem, 1944]
3. CWGC Stone of Sacrifice,
Arnhem / Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Netherlands
4. Local children of Arnhem / Oosterbeek at the cemetery
Each year in September, local children lay floral tributes 
5. Graves of three 1st Battalion Border Regiment soldiers
After many years research the identities have been proven
After September 2016 they are not just 'Known Unto God'
For additional information click on 'Comments' below.
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5 Comments:

Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Introduction

In September 1944, the 1st Battalion The Border Regiment was part of the 1st (Airborne) Division which took part in Operation Market Garden. The operation began on 17 September 1944 and lasted until 26 September and involved more than 30,000 Allied troops. ‘Market’ was the part of the plan involving Airborne troops and ‘Garden’ the part involving ground troops.

‘Market Garden’ was an attempt to bring an early end to the war by taking eight key bridges which span the network of rivers and canals of the Netherlands leading to the German frontier. Despite some determined fighting by the Airborne troops during the Battle of Arnhem / Oosterbeek, the Arnhem bridge – the last before Germany – proved to be ‘a Bridge Too Far’. For the Airborne troops landed behind German lines, with a lack of support coming through by land, supplies and numbers of men able to continue fight dwindling, large numbers of men were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. The Allies were forced to abandon their position and some were able to evacuate while those remaining were ordered to surrender and were taken prisoner.

Regimental Headquarters for the Border Regiment was traditionally at Carlisle Castle. Since the war the regiment has been amalgamated firstly, in 1959, into the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment (K.O.R.B.R) and secondly, in 2006, into the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's Lancashire and Border). Archives and the history of the Border Regiment and K.O.R.B.R. are preserved by Cumbria’s Museum at Military Life, inside Carlisle Castle in the Alma Block [Photograph No. 1].

After WW2, some of the main buildings inside Carlisle Castle were named after the major battles that the Border Regiment took part in. One of the buildings is now named Arnhem Block after the Battle of Arnhem / Oosterbeek. It is adjacent to Alma Block where the museum is based [Photograph No. 2].

Since the war, the Regimental museum at Carlisle has had a close working relationship with the Dutch Army and the Dutch people of the Gelderland district (Arnhem / Oosterbeek). On Friday 13 May 2016 Lieutenant Geert Jonker of the Royal Netherlands Army Recovery and Identification Service delivered a well-attended special talk at the museum, “In search of the missing”. Lieutenant Jonker is a member of a small but vitally important unit of the Royal Dutch Army which is responsible for the recovery of the remains of “missing” Dutch civilian and military and Allied and German military personnel, who lost their lives during the Second World War.
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Sunday, 21 August, 2016  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

“In search of the missing”

Each year in September there is a memorial service at the Arnhem / Oosterbeek War Cemetery where more than 1,600 mainly Commonwealth servicemen are interred or commemorated where floral tributes are laid at the Stone of Sacrifice [Photograph No. 3]. On the same day, local schoolchildren place their own individual floral tributes on the individual graves, even those whose identity has not been established [Photograph No. 4].

Among the many individuals whose bodies have been recovered, between 1984 and 2003 there have been six who served with the Border Regiment whose identity was initially unable to be identified and remained ‘Known Unto God’. The graves of three of these previously unidentified Border Regiment soldiers can be seen in photograph No. 5.

However, the Royal Netherlands Army Recovery and Identification Service combines the roles of military specialists, the archaeologist and the forensic scientist. Putting all the skills of these roles into practice and working closely with the Regimental Museum at Carlisle, the Dutch Army Unit has finally been able to confirm the identities of the six Border Regiment soldiers and find at least one family member for each one.

On 14 September 2016, these six individuals from the Border Regiment will have new Commonwealth War Graves headstones unveiled at the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery in the presence of the Dutch Army, the Dutch people and representatives of their regiment. In July 2016, the Ministry of Defence launched an appeal for family members of the following casualties so that they too could be given the opportunity to attend the unveiling ceremony:

Private Harry Vasey, S/No 3602906 of New Bowburn, Co. Durham;
Lance Corporal Raymond Halliday, S/No 3602840 of Stockton-on-Tees, Co. Durham;
Corporal Thomas Edgar, S/No 3603439 of Stanwix, Carlisle, Cumberland;
Private George Wilson, S/No 3606643 of Haslingden, Lancashire.
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Sunday, 21 August, 2016  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

How were the positive identifications made?

Initially, the various exhumation reports from 1946 onwards were scrutinised for clues to the identities of these unknown soldiers. It was also possible to cross check with wartime dental records which added to the weight of evidence. Finally, all the information was presented to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and in the case of these six individuals a positive identification was accepted.

For these six individuals. they are no longer ‘missing’ and their final resting place has eventually been discovered.

May they rest in peace!
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Sunday, 21 August, 2016  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Updated CWGC details of the six soldiers
(September 2016)

Below are the updated CWGC details for the six soldiers whose graves have been identified and had new headstones unveiled at Arnhem / Oosterbeek War Cemetery on 14 September 2016:

(1) Name: CARR, JACK
Rank: Corporal
Service No:4397327
Date of Death: 25/09/1944
Age: 22
Regiment/Service: Border Regiment, 1st (Airborne) Bn.
Grave Reference: 17. A. 15
Cemetery: ARNHEM OOSTERBEEK WAR CEMETERY, Netherlands
Additional Information:
Son of Walter and Maggie Elizabeth Carr, of Keighley, Yorkshire;
husband of Catherine Peggy Carr, of Leyburn, Yorkshire.
.......................

(2) Name: EDGAR, THOMAS
Rank: Corporal
Service No: 3603439
Date of Death: 24/09/1944
Age: 27
Regiment/Service: Border Regiment, 1st (Airborne) Bn.
Grave Reference: 2. A. 17
Cemetery: ARNHEM OOSTERBEEK WAR CEMETERY, Netherlands
Additional Information:
Son of John and Margaret Anne Edgar, of Stanwix, Carlisle.
...................

(3) Name: STANLEY, THOMAS EDWARD
Rank: Private
Service No: 3606793
Date of Death: 22/09/1944
Age: 21
Regiment/Service: Border Regiment, 1st (Airborne) Bn.
Grave Reference: 2. C. 19
Cemetery: ARNHEM OOSTERBEEK WAR CEMETERY, Netherlands
Additional Information:
Son of Thomas and Florence Stanley, of Meols, Hoylake, Cheshire.
..............

(4) Name: HALLIDAY, RAYMOND
Rank: Lance Corporal
Service No: 3602840
Date of Death: 24/09/1944
Age: 28
Regiment/Service: Border Regiment, 1st (Airborne) Bn.
Grave Reference: 22. B. 5
Cemetery: ARNHEM OOSTERBEEK WAR CEMETERY, Netherlands
Additional Information:
Son of Henry and Nancy Halliday;
husband of Lily Halliday, of Stockton-on-Tees, Co. Durham.
................

(5) Name: VASEY, HARRY
Rank: Private
Service No: 3602906
Date of Death: 23/09/1944
Age: 28
Regiment/Service: Border Regiment, 1st (Airborne) Bn.
Grave Reference: 2. C. 18
Cemetery: ARNHEM OOSTERBEEK WAR CEMETERY, Netherlands
Additional Information:
Son of Mrs. A. Vasey, of New Bowburn, Co. Durham.
...............

(6) Name: WILSON, GEORGE
Rank: Private
Service No: 3606643
Date of Death: Between 21/09/1944 and 22/09/1944
Age: 22
Regiment/Service: Border Regiment, 1st (Airborne) Bn.
Grave Reference: 31. B. 3
Cemetery: ARNHEM OOSTERBEEK WAR CEMETERY, Netherlands
Additional Information:
Son of Joseph and Hettie Wilson, of Haslingden, Lancashire.
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Sunday, 25 September, 2016  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

News report about the unveiling of the headstones

Below is a link to the ITV news website page about the unveiling of the headstones of the six soldiers at Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery on 14 September 2016 (it concentrates mainly on the story of Corporal Tom Edgar):

Soldiers finally laid to rest
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Sunday, 25 September, 2016  

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