Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Headstone Rededication for Sapper Sherwood.

The long search to identify an unknown soldier


Sapper Henry Miller Sherwood, who served with C-Troop, 1st Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers was killed on 20 September 1944 by a mortar bomb landing in his slit trench in the grounds of Sonnenberg House near Sonnenberglane, Netherlands.


He is thought to have family scattered across East Renfrewshire and the surrounding areas.


In 1991 his remains were found in the very same slit trench and subsequently exhumed by the Netherlands Army’s Recovery and Identification Unit (RIU). Despite a Royal Engineers cap badge having been found, sadly at that time the remains could not be identified, due to the absence of dental treatment cards at the Army Records Office. His remains were interred in Oosterbeek War Cemetery in 1993, in grave marked: “a soldier of the Corps of Royal Engineers, known unto God”.


The search for his identity was resumed in 2005 by Officer Commanding RIU Lt Geert Jonker and Henry Sherwood successfully identified after Lt Jonker’s findings were confirmed by the eye witness to Sherwood’s death.


At the time of his death he had just been relieved from manning a Bren gun position with his fellow soldier Spr Thomas Hicks. Thomas gave his account of what happened to RIU and was instrumental in the positive identification of Henry.


The re-dedication was attended by Henry Sherwood’s relatives and family (Henry Sherwood had ten brothers and sisters), Spr Thomas Hicks as well as representatives of RIU, JCCC, MOD. The service will be supported by a party of the 23rd Parachute Engineer Regiment and lead by the reverend Stuart Turner, chaplain to 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment.


Henry Watson, a relative of Henry living in Glasgow, said: “We, as a family, now know where Henry’s final resting place is and have an everlasting memory of the honour paid to him today.”


Arnhem Oosterbeek
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