Veteran remembered during ceremony to mark 75 years since battle of Arnhem

Douglas Shaw, from Upwood, survived the Battle of Arnhem. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Douglas Shaw, from Upwood, survived the Battle of Arnhem. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

A veteran of the Arnhem battle in the Second World War has been remembered during a special ceremony in the Netherlands to mark the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden.

Douglas Shaw, from Upwood, survived the battle but wanted his ashes to be interred with those of his fallen comrades buried at the war cemetery in Holland and his wish was carried out after his death in 2016.

His daughter Susan and son-in-law Andrew Mason were present at the ceremony attended by Prince Charles and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Susan was able to lay a wreath at her father's last resting place during the emotional gathering.

Mr Shaw joined the army in 1942 at the age of 18 and carried out numerous tours of duty before the Battle of Arnhem, eventually becoming a prisoner of war held at Stalag XIB in Germany.


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After the war Mr Shaw and his wife Joyce lived in Upwood where he was well known in the area for his shop Shaw's Stores, carrying out deliveries in his distinctive yellow van. He was also a keen supporter of the village cricket team.

Mrs Shaw died in 2015 and Mr Shaw spent his final months at the Hunters Down care home in Huntingdon.

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Operation Market Garden was the brainchild of Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery and was designed to speed up the end of the war by creating a bridgehead over the Rhine miles behind the German lines, opening up Germany to allied forces.

Airborne forces were dropped over Arnhem to capture the bridge there and fought valiantly while ground forces tried to catch up with them - but were unable to hold on long enough. With many of the paratroopers being killed, wounded or captured.

The 75th anniversary of the operation was marked at Ginkel Heath, where many of the paratroopers landed, and at the Oosterbeek Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery.

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