Major Cain's VC action

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Mick D, May 2, 2015.

  1. Mick D

    Mick D New Member

    Hello all,
    I'm new to this forum and have enjoyed reading it, so here is my first ever post-

    Can anyone tell me the location(s) in Arnhem where Major Cain earned his VC ? I'm off over there next week and would love to visit the exact point.

  2. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum Mick, good luck with your research, by the way do you have his army records?
    Wish you well with your trip. The guys here are full of help and knowledge so hang in there some one will be along soon.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Was he the father in law of Jeremy Clarkson??

    From Ancestry -


  4. Wessex_Warrior

    Wessex_Warrior Junior Member

    Hello Mick,

    Major Cain was awarded the VC for a number of successful engagements against enemy tanks between the 20th and 25th September. He immobilised a StuG on the afternoon of the 21st which was moving South on the Ploegseweg from a position in the grounds of the van Hofwegen laundry which stood at the southern end of the Ploegseweg. This is in the Oosterbeek perimeter.

    Kind regards,

  5. Mick D

    Mick D New Member

    Thanks for the information, was there for the 70th anniversary and can't wait to return. I will be visiting the sites of a few of the VC actions when I'm there.

  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Apparently when Cain revisited the location in 1946,the disabled German tank was still in the same position as it was when he crippled it in 1944.
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    There was a documentary made by Jeremy Clarkson (said to have been his best) about his father-in-law Major Cain - here on youtube

    it may provide you with some clues as to exactly where he was when he won his VC

    canuck and The Cooler King like this.
  8. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Major Robert Cain V.C. was awarded his V.C. for gallantry during Operation Market Garden (i.e. "Arnhem"). Up to date he is the only V.C. recipient from the Isle of Man (although many of the immediate family of WW1 V.C. recipient Abraham ACton V.C. lived in the Isle of Man during and after WW1).

    In September 2014 (70th anniversary of "Market Garden") a bridge at Castletown, I.O.M. was renamed after Major Cain (now 'The Cain Bridge'). It seems an appropriate 'nod' towards the aims of 'Market Garden' and especially to capture the Arnhem bridge.

    This is a link to the BBC news report about the Cain Bridge 'unveiling':
  9. Mick D

    Mick D New Member

    That was a very good documentary, thanks for posting it.
  10. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    One of my very favorite documentaries........................... :D
    Paul Bradford likes this.
  11. Mick D

    Mick D New Member

    Many thanks for the information, I did manage to visit the site when I was over !
  12. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Browsing some of the Tiger KO'd stories, and thinking re.

    I noticed that wiki:

    Has a small section after...

    To quote (at the mo.) "There are some errors in Cain's citation. The action described as occurring on the 20th actually took place on the 21st[28] (indeed this is the day on which Lieutenant Meikle—his spotter in the building above—was killed),[39] and the Tiger tank he engaged was in fact a StuG III.[28]"

    Margry, p616



    Has... "Overall, the Sturmgeschütz series assault guns proved very successful and served on all fronts as assault guns and tank destroyers. Although Tigers and Panthers have earned a greater notoriety, assault guns collectively destroyed more tanks" - "Because of their low silhouette, StuG IIIs were easy to camouflage and a difficult target. As of April 10, 1945, there were 1,053 StuG IIIs and 277 StuH 42s in service."

    Assuming wiki is "correct" - never too wise I know ;) Had the citation said "StuG III" - would it have "made" as much sense to the general/army reader to make this clear? - how widely was the term StuG III used by the British/allies? And maybe "Tiger" is just a WW2 way of saying a "XXXXXXX" German tank! :)
  13. 509thPIB

    509thPIB Well-Known Member

    Jba45ww2 and Dave55 like this.
  14. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Hope this helps/adds to this thread in some small way, have a read folks.

    Extract from “FOR VALOUR” page 139 (by KENNETH HARE-SCOTT, Published by PETER Garnett Ltd. 1949)

    Words in bold italics within brackets (below) are mine, by way of clarification (if any is needed!)

    “Robert Cain is back at his desk in Singapore – overlooking Collyers Quay – immersered in the problems of petroleum transport. We have exchanged letters about Arnhem – and two things worry him. First he does not see why I should “victimize” him (I think Major Cain’s self-effacing way of responding to Kenneth Hare-Scott for including him in his book, and the publicity it may bring him) Secondly – well, I give it to you in his own words – “The S.P. gun in the citation which was stopped with a P.I.A.T. was called a Tiger tank (by the citation writer, or a more senior officer further up the citation chain) but I do not know who was responsible. As the vehicle was still lying where I left it when we revisited Arnhem in 1945, I took a photograph of it from the spot where I fired. There have been several views stated as to what it is. It is certainly not a Tiger and I maintain it is an S.P. (Yes, it’s clearly some marque of a Stug III or IV) I enclose a snap so that if you wish you can get some tank-recognition pundit to give you a ruling.”
    Whether it had been Tiger tank, S.P. or a battleship on wheels, I think Robert Cain would have stopped it just the same.”

    Please see images attached below, and for my own tuppence worth, and with reference to Kenneth Hare-Scott’s concluding words, this was without doubt an act of valour that was worthy of our highest award for gallantry.

    Attached Files:

    von Poop likes this.
  15. Sapper D.

    Sapper D. Active Member

    The photo of the PIAT in Arnhem was actually taken Wolfheze. In the background you can see the railwayline (now gone) running away from the main line there.
  16. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    If you read Cain’s personal account of the battle he normally refers to these AFVs as Ferdinands
  17. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Thanks, and yes I absolutely agree with you. I've seen the same photo in numerous publications over the years with different locations given, and units too!
  18. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Thanks for the pointer re Major Cain's personal account of the action, very much appreciated.
  19. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Here you are folks, from a source that some may have not seen before.

    Attached Files:

    Recce_Mitch likes this.
  20. nigel barrett

    nigel barrett Member

    From that last photo it was frighteningly close range (but I guess you had to with a PIAT), and front on too.

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