Edwin Knowles

Servicenumber : 4976561
Rank : Corporal
Regiment : The Parachute Regiment
Unit : 11th Battalion
Date of Death : 18-09-1944
Age : 22
Grave :
Edwin Knowles was a son of Herbert and Ellen Mary Knowles of Worksop, Nottinghamshire. He served with No. 7 Platoon, C Company. 
According to the Roll of Honour published by the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum (Jan Hey 1999 and 2011) Knowles was on board of a C-47 (42-100896) when it was hit by German flak. The majority of the paratroopers bailed out in time, but Knowles and 9 others were killed when the plane crashed in a meadow west of the Rijnsteeg at Wageningen.
The others were: Mildred L. Harrold, Thaddeus C. Harvey, Clarence V. Parson, George Bell, Mark Borland, Frank Housham, Edward Leonard James, James William Barlow and Cecil Frank Arthur Page.
Edwin Knowles' body was apparently completely consumed by fire inside the aircraft.
The authors of the book 'Arnhem Their Final Battle' (Gerrit Pijpers and David Truesdale) wrote about the crash on pages 60 and 61: "One of the aircraft hit was Dakota 42-100896 of 62 Troop Carrier Squadron, flown by Lieutenant Frederick Hale, USAAF. Aboard the aircraft was No 8 Platoon of C Company, commanded by Lieutenant Keith Bell, with Sergeant Bolland acting as dispatcher. Some ten miles short of the drop zone the Dakota was hit by flak, which caused both severe damage and casualties. One of those hit was Private George Bell, who received a fatal wound to the head. As the Dakota began to burn and lose height, Lieutenant Bell led the men out of the aircraft being swiftly depatched by Sergeant Bolland. Not everyone made it, Sergeant Frank Housham, the last man in the stick was one of those killed. Private Mark Borland was seen to jump clear of the burning Dakota, but did not survive. A total of eight men from the Platoon were killed, along with three of the American aircrew."
Knowles has no known grave. His name is on panel 8  of the Groesbeek Memorial, which commemorates by name more than 1000 soldiers who died during te 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.
 
 
Sources: Website CWGC, Roll of Honour and 'Arnhem Their Final Battle' 

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