War diaries 28-1-1945 49 Recce

Discussion in 'Recce' started by Jan Kijlstra, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. Jan Kijlstra

    Jan Kijlstra Member

    On 28 january an uncle of mine was killed on "The Island". His grave was marked with an English cross stating
    "Killed in action 28-1-45" The location was near an house called "De Esch", close to the northern bank of the river Waal. At that day the 49 (WR) Recce was on duty at that location.
    Since never could be reconstructed what has happened that day I'm looking for the war diaries of that day and that unit.
    Because of the English cross on the grave I think my uncle was killed by English fire, and this should be noted in the war diaries.
    However, I am unable to find them
    Is somebody able to help me?
    I'm Dutch, so please forgive me for "murdering the Queen's english"
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Moved thread to Recce area of forum.
    Recce_Mitch likes this.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Is this not the one you need:
    Recce.Regt. | The National Archives

    From this search link - Search results: 49 recce | The National Archives

    War Office: Allied Expeditionary Force, North West Europe (British Element): War Diaries, Second World War. DIVISIONS. 49 Infantry Division. Recce.Regt.
    Held by: The National Archives - War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies
    Date: 1945
    Reference: WO 171/4234

    Subjects: Armed Forces (General Administration) | Army | Conflict | Diaries | Europe and Russia | Operations, battles and campaigns

    Recce_Mitch likes this.
  4. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    Relevant page attached. Maybe your uncle was killed in the incident on the 27th - note the later handwritten note referring to a third body being recovered

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  5. Jan Kijlstra

    Jan Kijlstra Member

    Thank you. Especially Horsapassenger. I'll try to find out if that burned house on the 27th was the house called "De Esch", because the body of my uncle, as well as those of two
    German solders was found in the garden of that house.
  6. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    It's probable that after the bodies had been discovered in the house they were buried in the garden.
  7. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    This map might assist you to identify the location of the house. The War Diary gives the map reference for the building as 545695. The top row of the map is the 69 grid. Hence halfway across and halfway up the square to the right of the 54 vertical line, by the building marked De Temple, should be the area you're looking for.

    Attached Files:

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  8. Jan Kijlstra

    Jan Kijlstra Member

    We know that my uncle was buried in the garden of a house called "De Esch". In that garden two German soldiers were buried too. So that does fit the war diary.

    I'm attaching a part of a similar map whit the location of the house. It is still there, but situated more to the east.

    By the way: on the map it's also marked where my uncle's brother was found died, after the war. He is assumed to be killed on the same day as his brother. The guide of the two brothers was found dead on the same location. Probably they were killed by a nearby hit of a granate. We assume that my uncle did survive this hit, and decided not to keep moving in the direction of Nijmegen, but chosed to
    go in the direction of Dodewaard.

    Is it possible that the buried bodies were moved from the location where they were shot to the garden of "De Esch"?

    By the way: I have several books about he subject, but do not have the map you did sent me a part of. I would be very happy to have the complete map, since in the books many coordinates are given, but with no proper map at hand it's quite difficult to identificate the locations

    Attached Files:

  9. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    The map that you posted puts De Esch not on the Druten map but on the adjacent Renen map where its location is marked as 'Den Esch'. You should be able to download this map from the American Library of Congress at Renen, Holland

    Attached Files:

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  10. Jan Kijlstra

    Jan Kijlstra Member

    The Renen-map (Rhenen) covers the region west of Dodewaard.

    The identification report describes the location of the grave as:
    Front garden of the house called "Den Esch", owned by C. van Hattum, Kerkstraat, Hien (community of Dodewaard).

    This is not on the Renen-map.

    On the screen shot yuo attached the house is visible, but that screen shot does not come from the Renen map, does it?
  11. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member


    The last screen shot that I posted showing the house Den Esch comes from the bottom of the Rhenen (Renen) map where the building is shown at map reference 576702. You should be able to download this map from the link that I attached. You will see that the Rhenen map sits directly North of the Druten map

    Attached Files:

  12. Jan Kijlstra

    Jan Kijlstra Member

    Sorry, my mistake.

    The house De Esch indeed is visible on that map.

    In the front garden two Germans and a civilian were buried: "killed in action".
    The cross is dated 28 januari, but these people seems to be killed the day before,
    west of Dodewaard.

    I do trust the war diary, but cannot explain the difference between date an d place of killing
    and date and place of burial.

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