- William McKinlay Edmond was a son of William
and Joanna M.S.A. Edmond, of Musselburgh, Midlothian. He was married to
Janet L.A. Edmond, of Musselburgh.
- Edmond served with No
9 Section, C Troop. On 17 september
1944 he landed near Wolfheze. In the plans for Market Garden the
Reconnaissance Squadron was given the task to get to the bridge at
Arnhem as fast as they could. C Troop, consisting of 8 jeeps with 5 men
in each jeep, would be leading the Squadron.
They left from Renkum Heath around 15.45 hrs. Lieutenant Bucknall
proceeded in one jeep with the first three men available from his
section. Sergeant McGregor followed in a second jeep with five more men.
When C Troop left the heath Sections 9 and 7 were leading, with No. 8
behind them. HQ Troop brought up the rear.
- After departing the heath they made good progress and stopped to
rendezvou on the approaches to Wolfheze. There No. 8 section would take
over from No 9 and move into the lead. No 7 was behind them. After crossing the railway at
Wolfheze the jeeps advanced down a sand track called Johannahoeveweg, which ran eastwards
from the station, next to the railway. About a third of a mile from the
Wolfheze crossing the road dips down and up again. As the first jeep
proceeded down into the dip and up the other side it was ambushed by a
defensive blocking line of men from the SS-Panzergrenadier Ausbildungs
und Ersatz Bataillon 16, commanded by SS Sturmbahnfuhrer Sepp Krafft. At
this spot it were men of the battalion reserve platoon under command of
SS Hauptscharfuhrer Wiegand. All four men in the first jeep were killed.
Of the six men in the second jeep 1 was killed, 4 were wounded and
captured and 1 was seriously wounded and left behind.
- Section 7, which was behind No 8, stopped and
took cover as soon as they heard the shooting in front of them. They
then moved forward on foot to investigate. At that moment the men of the
2nd jeep were still laying around their vehicle and it was decided that
section 7 should move nearer to the scene of the action and section 9
should move to the south side of the railway in order to guard the right
flank. Sergeant Stacey of No 7 was seriously wounded while trying to
reach the 2nd jeep. It was decided to collect the wounded and withdraw
and section 9 was ordered to get back to the north side of the railway
to cover section 7. They moved up with speed and came within 50 yards of
section 7. Because the Medical Officer was fired upon, although he was
bearing a Red Cross flag it was decided to try to recover Sergeant
Stacey under cover of a smoke screen. Again they failed and two of the
men of section 9 were also wounded. While trying to withdraw William
Edmond was hit in the back and dropped about five yards from the edge of
the wood. The author of the book Remember Arnhem, John Fairley, writes
about this on page 49 and 50. On page 50 he writes: "Meantime,
Lieutenant Bowles and his Section Sergeant, David Christie, had gone out
after Edmond. It was generally believed that the sniper responsible for
shooting Chandler was the one who had also got Edmond and, certainly, as
they dragged him to cover, Bowles and Christie suffered a number of near
misses and were made very conscious of the accuracy of the German's
shooting. Despite all this, both wounded men were brought safely back,
each was given morphia and had his wounds dressed. It was obvious that
Edmond was the more serious casualty, as he had been hit in the left
lung and had lost a lot of blood. Laid out on a stretcher, he was placed
on Christie's jeep and, with Miles and Palmer in the back, they set out
for the regimental aid post. On the way back, Edmond kept asking for
water and saying that he was going to die. "You won't die,
Jock", Christie kept assuring him although, as he adds, "I
didn't believe a word I said." They arrived at where the RAP had
been just three hours earlier to find its gone, and so, there was little
that they could do except unload the casualties and treat the wounds as
effectivel as possible under Douglas Swinscow's direction......By the
end of the short journey Edmond, too, was unconsious and, when Christie
cut away his clothing, he found a three inch hole in Edmond's back.
"The wound was sucking in air," says Christie, "and
making a noise like someone pressing the air from a cycle tube. I took a
field dressing and pushed it right inside the hole, and then covered it
with a shell dressing. Just after I had finished this, I gave him a
drink of brandy from the flask that I carried, and shortly afterward he
recovered consiousness for about two minutes. During that time he sai to
me, 'Jock, I'm dying. Tell my wife I love her and ho and see her for
me.' 'Yes, Jock, I will,' I replied. He lost consiousness after that and
died the following morning."
- Edmond was sent to the 181st Airlanding Field
Ambulance at the Duitsekampweg in Wolfheze. Here he died. He was given a
field burial in the back garden of Duitsekampweg No 9, together with the
bodies of the men killed in the first 2 jeeps, whose bodied were
retrieved on 18 september.
- According to the Roll of Honour published by
the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum (Jan Hey 2011) Edmond was
given a field burial in the garden of Duitsekampweg 9.