Black Country Bugle

Awful toll on South Staffords at Arnhem


FURTHER to my write-up earlier this year of the action of my former regiment in Arnhem, 2nd Bn South Staffords – I can now add more from the Regimental Journal.

There were more than 300 wounded, mostly from the regiment and Paras, in Mrs Kate Ter Horst’s house, in every room, lying on the floor and on the stairs, and after the war 50 bodies were removed from her back garden.

350 Dorsets tried to help the Staffords but landed behind the German lines and were captured. 13 were killed.

Thomas Thompson of Blounts Road in Smethwick was reported missing on 19th September.

Those captured had to endure imprisonme­nt for the rest of the war, until they were released by our forces. Some were held in Limburg Stalag XIIA, or Stalag VIIC and XIIA. Jack Kilgallan was moved to work on a farm and in industry.

When they did get Red Cross parcels they didn’t get many – they had one between six men.

The Long March – 600 kilometres – took 32 days. They moved 20-25km each day and when night came they fell exhausted. One soldier, suffering severe stomach upset, needed to relieve himself and wandered no more than sixty feet from the road. He was shot and seriously wounded.

This is from an account by Cpl H Perry, No 11 Platoon C Company.

I hope you find this of interest.

I also enclose a photograph of myself and a Mrs Pieterse on the path which the South Staffords took after leaving Landing Zone LS1, on the way to Arnhem.

Near where we were standing, at the top of the lane, are foxholes.

G.A. Watts, Moat Road, Oldbury

 ?? ?? The path taken by the South Staffords after landing, on their way to Arnhem
The path taken by the South Staffords after landing, on their way to Arnhem

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