Thursday 30 March 2023

Body of British soldier found at site of Operation Market Garden

A panorama view of Operation Market Garden. Photo: Liberation Museum

Bomb disposal experts searching for explosives near the A15 motorway have found the remains of a British soldier who is thought to have been killed in the aftermath of Operation Market Garden.

The body was found near Bemmel, in the area where the battle to liberate the north of the Netherlands took place in September 1944.  The attempt ultimately failed, with great loss of life among the allied forces.

Some 35,000 British, US and Polish forces were dropped by parachute and glider behind enemy lines in an effort to open a way into Germany. But despite initial victories, they did not manage to secure eight bridges crossing the river Rhine.

The man was found with his gun, a helmet and a fountain pen. His remains have been transferred to the military recovery and identification laboratory (BIDKL) at Soesterberg in order to start the search for his identity.

In September the remains of a seven strong crew were found to be still inside the British bomber that crashed in the Markermeer in 1943.

And earlier this month, the body of a German pilot who was shot down during aerial combat with the allies over Zwolle in 1944 was identified as Otto Tillack.

The bodies of 6,000 soldiers and civilians thought to have died during the Second World War are still unaccounted for in the Netherlands.

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