STorieS of MarkeT GardeN


The ranks of veterans and citizens who actually witnessed the events of September 1944 are deminishing. It is our duty that their stories will not disappear with them and that future generations be aware of our freedom and the price these heroes paid for it. There are thousands of stories originating from the days of September 1944, here are a few of them...

MariA ten HorN

In the picture Maria ten Horn is on the right

During the height of the battle of Nijmegen, three Grenadiers, LSgt WFR Draycott, Gdsm J. Newsome and Gdsm GA Richardson were killed when their tank received a direct hit. This was near to the home of Maria ten Horn and Maria and her family buried the Grenadiers in their garden with Maria tending their graves regularly with flowers. However, as the war passed on from Nijmegen, the War Graves Commission eventually moved the graves to the Jonkerbos War Cemetery. For the next 54 years, until her illness, she continued to visit the graves at regular intervals to place flowers on the three Grenadier graves. 
(Grenadier Gazette No22 1999)

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JacK PritcharD

It wasn't until days later that I found out what had happened to the men I had left behind at Nijmegen. Both Number 4 Company and the Kings Company had gained their objectives on the approaches to the road bridge, clearing Hunner Park and the Valkhof of German troops and capturing their heavier weapons. The way was now clear for the tanks of the Second Battalion to storm the bridge. Major John Trotter, commanding number 1 Squadron of the 2nd Bn Grenadier Guards, ordered Sergeant Robinson to make the first attempt, but  his Sherman was hit twice by anti-tank gun fire and he was forced to pull back for minor repairs. It wasn't until dusk was falling that a second attempt was made.

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PeteR RobinsoN

In the picture Peter Robinson is on the centre right

It isn’t fair to have one regiment in the lead all the time. You all took it in turns to lead. The Irish Guards started off leading first of all…probably Number 1 Squadron. And then somebody else and then it comes to the individual troops. Somebody’s got to be in front there and of course you take that in turn as well and that was where I came unlucky. The bridge wasn’t taken, which was our objective. We reached the far end of the bridge and immediately there was a road block. So the troop sergeant covered me through and then I got to the other side and covered the rest of the troops through.

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DenniS FredericK LaddS

In  Memory of Lance Corporal


2612986, 2nd Bn., Grenadier Guards

who died age 31 on 13 November 1944

Son of Frederick William Joachim Ladds and Clara Ladds, of Cambridge; husband of Margery Osyth Louise Ladds, of Cambridge.

Remembered with honour

Casualty of War on the road from Gangelt to Geilenkirchen (Germany)

Grave/Memorial reference L.1.

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charles Raymond Olsen

In the picture (1959) Ray Olsen is on the left, the author in the centre

In September 1944, my father, Ray Olson, was in England recovering from a gunshot wound received in Carentan, Normandy.

There being no rest for the weary, it was time to head

off into battle again—this time in the Netherlands for

Operation Market Garden.

As in Normandy, few paratroopers landed where planned due to anti-aircraft fire scattering their planes. My father and two others who landed near each other did not know the way to their rendezvous location. They saw a nearby farmhouse and, having been assured that all Dutch people could be trusted to help, decided to ask for directions.

The patriarch of the family took them in and, despite the language barrier, used my father's maps to point out the best route to their destination.

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More stories

The Unsung Hero of the battle for Nijmegen Bridge by Jack Pritchard (pdf)

Wars and shadows” memoirs of General Sir David Fraser Grenadier Guards (pdf)

Wartime letters from estranged mother arrive 60 years too late (pdf)

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