Pvt William Rees 1st Battalion D company

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Pvt William Rees 1st Battalion D company

Postby Day » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:50 pm

Hi All,
I wonder if anyone can help me please, my great grandfather was Pvt William Rees 1471145 he was killed in action 24th September 1944. To date I have very limited knowledge of my great grandfather as my grandad was only a small child when he died unfortunately he doesn't talk much about him.
I wonder if anyone has any further information or anywhere they think I could get some information from on my great grandfather. I know he was involved in operation Market Garden and subsequently was shot in action.

Anything no matter how small will be greatly appreciated.


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Re: Pvt William Rees 1st Battalion D company

Postby scully » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:29 pm

I had a look in to the details of your great grandfather Private William Rees (14711451) death. He was killed in action 24th September 1944 by German machine gun fire. I believe he was one of the two solders who crossed the main street in Elst when they were all shot by machine gun fire. Below is a first hand account of what happens as described by Priavte Arthur (Ken) Neale who was there:

“During the fighting at Elst on the 24th September 1944 `D' company eased forward. The leading platoon (16 Platoon) of about fourteen men commanded by Lieutenant Ron Jauncey were held up by machine gun fire coming directly down the main street towards our position which was located at the other end of the street in a patch of open ground.
There was no street or house-to-house fighting by our platoon, at least not in this main street. The Germans had moved out and most of the houses were on fire.
Major Souper, the Company commander came forward to see what the problem was. He then ordered Private Stephens and myself to arm ourselves with a bren gun and provide cover whilst he and two other men (note: one of which I think was Private William Rees) crossed the street further up. They were immediately shot down - the Major was mortally wounded.
Private Stephens and myself crossed the road after the first burst of fire. The rest of section eventually followed. We worked our way round the back of the burning houses and on reaching the German gun post found that they had absconded.
We were then stuck in the middle of a gun battle between a German tank and a Sherman. We promptly dived for cover in the German dug out till all was quiet”.
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