- Thomas 'Rocky' Edgar was a son of John and
Margaret Anne Edgar, of Stanwix, Carlisle. He had 4 sisters called
Alice, Margaret, Frances and Olive and two brothers called William and
- Edgar enlisted in the Border Regiment in 1941.
- Corporal Edgar served with No. 8 Platoon, A
Company. According to the Roll of Honour published by the Society of Friends
of the Airborne Museum (Jan Hey 2011) Edgar is known to have been
fatally wounded when clearing the Dennenoord House, at the
Benedendorpsweg in Oosterbeek, from enemy personnel. He was taken to a
nearby Regimental Aid Post, where he subsequently died of his wounds. He
was buried in the Oostbeek War
Cemetery as an unknown soldier. His name is on panel 4 of the Groesbeek
Memorial, which commemorates by name more than 1000 soldiers who died
during the campaign in north-west Europe between the time of crossing
the Seine at the end of August 1944 and the end of the war in Europe,
and whose graves are not known.
- Eventually after more than 70 years his body
was identified by the Recovery and Indentification Service of the Royal
Netherlands Army and on 14 september 2016 Edgar, together with 5 other
previously unidentified men of the Border Regiment received a
rededication service (pictures
of the service) and a named headstone was placed on his grave.
- The authors of the book 'When Dragons Flew'
(Stuart Eastwood, Charles Gray and Alan Green) wrote about Thomas Edgar
on pages 83, 84 and 164. Pages 83-84: "As Sgt J. Davidson and
his group from A Company approached Sicily in Glider No 77, a
considerable amount of flak greeted them and their tug immediately
banked and headed out to sea. The Glider Pilot made a perfect landing on
the water and all the men scambled out through a hole cut in the top of
the fuselage by Cpl Edgar. Sgt Davidson organised his nine swimmers to
take care of the five non-swimmers and the headed for the land. Together
with Pts Elliott, he made it to the shore, but became separated from the
rest. They soon found that they were within yards of an Italian position
and had no choice but to surrender, confident that they would be freed
to following day. The Italians looked after them well, although they
took Davidson's 48-hours rations, waterbottle and compass; he managed to
retain his map despite three further searches.
- Eventually most of the glider party and
other troops joined them. From their group only Pte Eagles lost his
life. He was thought to have been drowned, but as he is buried in
Syracuse Cemetery it is possible that he made it to shore; the other
survivors included L/Cpl Stevens, Pte Birdsell, who had met up with some
Staffords and fought with them, Pte Lane and Pte Marriott. They were
escorted as PoWs along the main road to Syracuse later on the morning of
the 10th and came under accurate Allied mortar fire. Davidson reported
that 'we attempted to help te venture by a little fifth column work and
started to tell the Italians that the English were all round the island
and that they were completely surrounded. This seemed to affect them
greatly, and eventually the majority came and surrendered to us; the
remainder started waving white flags.' The prisoners were taken into
Syracuse and Davidson's group headed back to the bridge, where they met
Col Jones and other from the 1st Battalion."
- Page 164: "Cpl Edgar was another great
example, always in the thick of the fighting; if he thought there were
Germans near, he would go off on his own and alwaus come back with good
- At one stage the Company DS was overrun.
This was located in the house known as Dennenoord, whose Dutch occupants
had made it their responsibility to care for the woudned. Cpl Edgar
re-loaded his Sten and entered the house, where he killed the majority
of the enemy and chased the remainder out of the back door. Sadly, later
in the day a wounded German officer managed to raise his pistol as he
died and shot Cpl Edgar, who was killed instantly."