INFORMATION ON GREAT UNCLE

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INFORMATION ON GREAT UNCLE

Postby pezzer1 » Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:36 pm

HI COULD ANYBODY GIVE ME ANY information ON MY GREAT UNCLE HIS NAME WAS W T WATSON HE SERVED AS A PRIVATE IN THE 1st BATTALION IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR HE DIED OF HIS WOUNDS ON THE 30/09/1944 CLOSE TO ARNHEM IN A PLACE CALLED RANDAWICH {IAM NOT SURE OF THE SPELLING OF THIS} AND IS BURIED IN JONKERSBOS CEMETRY NEAR NIRMEGAN ANY information WOULD BE GREAT THANKS IAN
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Postby Philip Reinders ABRG » Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:11 pm

This would be RANDWIJK, JONKERBOSCH WAR CEMETERY, did not find any fieldgrave locations in my records
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Postby scully » Fri Oct 27, 2006 9:52 pm

The chances are that he was wounded at on the 29th September 1944 if so this would be at the same location that two officers of 'B' company lost their lives (see the extract below for more details) at a house called “Notenboom” about 1000 yards east of Randwijk. Or he could have been wounded a few days earlier during the fight in Elst.

DO YOU KNOW WHICH COMPANY HE WAS IN?

Regards,

Louis

?? GIVING DETAILS (27th to 30th September 1944)?/?
On the day following their arrival in Andelst (27th September) the Worcesters were again called from their orchards and barns, for at 15.00 hours they were ordered to be prepared to take the field once more, this time to aid the 7th Somersets who were reported to have located enemy in their area to the north. Their column, including a Squadron of Shermans, formed up on the road and cocked its ear to the sound of battle in front where the heavy “crump” of 4.2 mortars was easily distinguishable. As they waited the rain fell in farming and it was not until they were all thoroughly drenched that they were ordered to stand down with the exception of ‘C’ Company, the leading Company, who were sent forward to take up a position on the level-crossing 1000 yards south of Zetten. This, however, proved to be a mistake; they were withdrawn later that evening and retired to their original position.

The next day (28th September) at 16.00 hours the 1st Worcesters relieved the 7th Somersets (who had mopped up in the river area on the Neder Rijn the previous day, taking 145 P.O.W). The 7th Somersets had three Companies on the line of the dyke road overlooking the Neder Rijn in the area of the village of Randwijk. The relief was completed by 21.00 hours with Worcestershire ‘C’ Company on the right, ‘B’ Company in the centre and ‘D’ Company on the left. ‘A’ Company and Battalion H.Q. were back in the area of Zetten. However, this simple operation was not carried out without a mishap; the Pioneer Platoon Sergeant (Sergt. Priest) whilst travelling in a jeep ran over a 75 anti-tank mine and had to have his foot amputated as a result. The 7th Somersets withdrew to a rest area at Zetten—Andelst.

During the night there was much patrolling but the enemy was nowhere engaged. Worcesters Pioneer Officer (Lieut. Allum) went forward escorted by a patrol from ‘C’ Company and laid some booby-trapped 36 Grenades on the riverbank at the approach to the Ferry.

At dawn next morning (29th September) the Worcesters saw the Neder Rijn for the first time from the dyke road which runs roughly parallel to it; open fields, rich and alluvial, sloped gently down to the water—a matter of approximately 500 yards, offering a magnificent field of fire to the defenders and only suicide to any attackers choosing to come that way.

That morning the Germans continued to shell intermittently the area the Worcesters occupied. At this time ‘B’ Company HQ was in a farmhouse named “Notenboom” (translated Walnut Tree), about 1000 yards west of Randwijk. The Company Commander Major Bill Broome, Captain Noel Walkins (2 i/c) and a signaller were standing in the kitchen of the farmhouse when 88 mm shell came through the window and exploded mortally wounding Major Broome and killing outright Captain Watkins and the company signaller Private Fred Marsh.

This made the total loss of officers in that week to four, three Company Commanders and one Company Second-in-Command. Major A. A. Grubb, who had been acting Second-in-Command of the Battalion, went forward and took command of ‘B’ Company.

A Gunner F.O.O. (Captain Roy Woodward) went forward and established himself on the dyke but, although he was always a comfort to have around, on this particular occasion the ammunition supply was so very limited owing to the fact that the supply-route was frequently being cut between Graves and Eindhoven, that he could do very little in the way of retaliation. At one time the ammunition supply fell to as little as three rounds per gun per day. Nothing else worth recording happened during the day, but that night the 3-in. Mortar Platoon played havoc with the enemy’s back areas across the river.

The next day (30th September), at 19.00 hours to everyone’s surprise, the Worcesters were relieved again by the 7th Somersets, and withdrew to an area of south of Zetten. The relief was completed by 21.45 hours and the Worcesters billeted themselves on the local populace with Battalion Headquarters at Zetten and Andelst Railway Station.
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