- Contributed by
- People in story:
- John Hadnutt, Harry Dye, David Wright
- Location of story:
- Alem, Holland. Sangro River, Italy
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 14 April 2005
Marine John Hadnutt killed in action April 23rd 1945
Recently I’ve visited the graves of two of my uncles who died during the war.
My Mother’s brother, John Hadnutt, was a Royal Marine who died just before the end of the War on St. George’s Day (April 23rd)1945, aged 22.
In 2003 I went over to Holland to see the place where he was killed. Alem, near Zalt Bommel, is a little village about an hour from Amsterdam. We’d been told that John had been buried near a Mr. Hannegraffe’s house, killed by a sniper, according to his friend and fellow Marine, ‘Dodger’ Davis, but later his body was moved to the War Cemetery at Bergen Op Zoom, about 2 hours from Amsterdam.
I went there not expecting much, but after enquiries, I found out that Mr. Hannegraffe’s son was still alive and living in Alem. Straight away, Mr. Hannegraffe — the original owner’s son, who’d been 17 at the time — pointed to an unmarked area by the house, where my Uncle John had been buried, and to where two Germans had been buried behind him. It was in a lane, with nothing to indicate that people had been buried there, but Mr. Hannegraffe remembered exactly.
The other Uncle was my Dad’s stepbrother, Harry Dye, a Royal Fusilier killed in Italy in 1943, when he was 25 years old. The Sangro River War Cemetery, near Pascara, is a beautiful place about 4 hours from Rome, and holds the bodies of Servicemen from a number of the Allied countries.
The cemeteries are both kept in immaculate condition and it was really interesting to visit the two graves.
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