2082150 Private H Campbell 5th Dorsets

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by jemgee2, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. jemgee2

    jemgee2 Member

    We have recently returned from the Arnhem commemoration and we visited Driel. Apologies for this long post!

    The brother of my aunt is buried at Oosterbeek and I have applied for his service records Although from Liverpool and enlisted in RE (TA) in 39, at time of his death he was in the 5th battalion Dorsets at Driel. We visited the Keep about 2 years ago and exchanged emails this week. I am trying to find any further information. There are a couple of discrepancies which I have found ie possible christian name spelling error and date of death (24th on grave concentration report and 25th on the CWGC headstone)

    The CWGC grave concentration report stated he was originally buried at Driel and querying the CWGC they have said

    The map reference in the Concentration Report Form refers to a US Army Map used at the time, 4427, which can be purchased from the Airbourne Museum in Oosterbeek. Within our records, we have a map reference referring to the original burial location which is given as 679755 and is situated in a wooded area near the centre of Driel.

    The report also states ISOL and In orchard behind school.

    Whilst I could only find 4427 maps for Arnhem east and Ginkel on line, another map seemed to tie up with the co-ordinates and if I am correct it is actually the centre of Driel where the RC Church and Polish Memorial is today.

    I do not know which company he was in but the 5th Dorsets book says that the 4 company's were split up over a wide area - about 2000m x 1000m

    The questions I would like help with if possible are:

    Is there any way of finding which company he was in - or is that likely to be in his service record. The Keep do not know.

    In searching on the internet I have found this (in Dutch)


    Page 46 shows a school on the first picture and then the lower one is what I think is a schoolroom with several soldiers - 2 with aprons
    Can anyone identify where this school was and could this school have been a medical station where we was brought and then died and was buried next to it? Can anyone identify the soldiers?

    I have also emailed the Airborne Museum and the Liberation route asking if they have any further information about this document.

    Any assistance would be very much appreciated.
  2. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    The attached map shows the positions of the 5 Dorsets at Driel. The map reference 679755 appears to refer to the church in the grid square to the left of A and B Company positions.

    've just compared the 1944 map with a current one. What is identified on the map as Broekstraat is now Molenstraat. This leads into Kerkstraat which is where the place of first burial is given.

    Attached Files:

    Owen likes this.
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Moved thread from 'Airborne' section of forum to 'NW Europe'.
    5th Dorsets certainly weren't Airborne.
  4. jemgee2

    jemgee2 Member

    Apologies for posting in the wrong forum.

    Thank you for the map - I believe that is the church (which is also on the front page of the liberation article) but no sign of a school?
  5. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    I think the school is the one marked as (4) "Oude Jongensschool" on the map in the Liberation Route pamphlet. If so it was indeed used by the Polish troops as a Field Hospital and, after the war, was renamed Stanislaus Kostka school but has since been demolished. You will be aware that an information centre was opened last year at the rear of the Church. I would suggest viewing their web site at http://www.driel-polen.nl/?lang=en and contacting them at info@driel-polen.nl

  6. jemgee2

    jemgee2 Member

    Thanks - I had only quickly looked at the index hoping to find a map at the back but then noticed the fotos. The amount of information on the net made me skim loads of sites looking for the 1944 US army maps but both the US library of congress and the British Museum just have the Arnhem and Ginkel portions. We had looked at the display in the church but thank you for the suggestion to contact them - I will certainly do that.

    I had assumed that the soldiers were English from their uniforms and helmets rather than Polish. I will be looking at other maps because although the pamphlet gives its position as '4' no maps I have found so far seem to show the school.

    Thanks again
  7. jemgee2

    jemgee2 Member

    My enquiry to the liberation route has been forwarded to a contact they have at Driel.

    Having checked on the www.topotijdreis.nl/ site recommended by stolpi I have found that using the timeline for 1930 it shows 2 schools - 1 just opposite the RC Kirk (as the map reference) and 1 on Broek Straat So there is a strong possibility the map reference in the grave concentration report is accurate and is exactly where the Polish memorial is now. Altering the timeline to 1957 both schools have disappeared.

    Could I query your map disposition of 5th Dorsets? According to the book of the 5th Dorsets (written by in early 1945) on 23rd September records D company in the central location and A company was near the railway bridge, B and C company with Battalion HQ were in the rear until B relieved A and C company were sent to the left flank subsequently being relieved by B company and finally C company.

    What does raise a question is why he was buried in a remote location to any location of the company's fighting locations
  8. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  9. jemgee2

    jemgee2 Member

    I had looked at that map thanks - but perhaps I have misunderstood the map reference because I still get opposite the RC Kirk and there is no orchard behind school referred to in the grave concentration report?
  10. Nijmegen

    Nijmegen Member


    The first picture is exact the location of the field grave. The second shows the school. Combine the two.
  11. jemgee2

    jemgee2 Member

    Thank you
  12. jemgee2

    jemgee2 Member

    Re medical station in Driel and post no 5 by Horsapasseger "I think the school is the one marked as (4) "Oude Jongensschool" on the map in the Liberation Route pamphlet. If so it was indeed used by the Polish troops as a Field Hospital"

    Just checked 130FA war diary for September 1944. It says (25th September) on page 10 the last paragraph confirms that they were very close to the church tower which was being used as an OP when a shell landed close killing Lt LC Woods of RAMC.

    So perhaps there was a separate Field Hospital for the Dorsets ?
  13. jemgee2

    jemgee2 Member

    Just found this which is very clear

  14. Nijmegen

    Nijmegen Member

    Opposite the Catholic Church (3) there was a school for girls, a convent and the parish hall, which was the first dressing station to be used (but had no running water). It was initially led by local female GP, A. Van Den Burg. The main dressing station was the school for boys (4).

    The uncle of your aunt was brought to the parish hall and died of wounds. Hence, the burial next to the parish hall.

    Parish hall
    stolpi likes this.
  15. jemgee2

    jemgee2 Member

    Fantastic - thanks for that. I assume the picture is the School ?
  16. Nijmegen

    Nijmegen Member

    The picture is of the first dressing station, the parish hall. Next to this, was the burial site.
  17. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    War diary for the period attached

    Attached Files:

    stolpi likes this.
  18. jemgee2

    jemgee2 Member

    Thank you both for the updated information - I had not seen the war diary for that period.
  19. jemgee2

    jemgee2 Member

    Were the war diaries typed up on a day by day basis at the battalion H/Q?
    Reading through them some are marked top secret which seems a bit excessive?
  20. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    War Diaries were submitted monthly. Therefore they may not have been typed (or written) up until the end of the month. The classification of Top Secret is not unreasonable considering the information that it contained about the unit, its strength and location. The monthly return also included returns of Officers on Strength, information about the number of soldiers on strength, copies of briefing material, maps etc all of which could be considered useful information to the enenemy.

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