37 Graves Registration Unit War Diary
21-30-04-1945: 37 Graves Registration Unit stationed in Tilburg. 1 Section moved for four days to cover the area and mark graves of personnel buried during the operations at Arnhem, September 1944.
01-05-1945: 1 Section in the area of Arnhem.
`10-05-1945: Captain Long visit HQ 21 Army Group regarding selection of cemetery Arnhem area.
02-06-1945: OC visited Arnhem Cemetery site.
04-06-1945: Visit by A.D.G.R for the purpose of selection sites at Arnhem.
05-06-1945: OC unit accompanied A.G.R.E 21 group to Arnhem site for Arnhem British Cemetery selected.
04-07-1945: "Normal"work on preparation of Arnhem British Cemetery.
11-07-1945: 1 Section from Airborne corps attached to work in Arnhem area.
12-07-1945: OC visit A.G.R.E plans for Arnhem British Cemetery.
01-08-1945: Commencement of construction of Arnhem British Cemetery, Captain A.E. Stephenson left on release work in connection with above cemetery.
02/04-08-1945: Work in connection with above cemetery.
06/10-08-1945: Arnhem Cemetery burials.
13-08-1945: Burials in Arnhem Cemetery
03-09-1945: Confirmation of concentrations in Arnhem Cemetery with 48 GRU.
04-09-1945: Concentrations at Arnhem.
05-09-1945: Liaison with RAF MRESec re Arnhem area, concentrations at Arnhem.
06-09-1945: Concentrations at Arnhem.
07-09-1945: Arnhem concentrations.
10-09-1945: Arnhem concentrations continued.
11-09-1945: Further work in connection with Arnhem Cemetery.
12-09-1945: Arnhem concentrations.
03-10-1945: Concentration into Arnhem Cemetery continued.
04-10-1945: Arnhem concentrations continued.
05-10-1945: Arnhem concentrations continued.
In 17 September 1944, the 1st Airborne Division began landing west of Arnhem, but German resistance, bad weather and problems with supplies and reinforcements led to heavy losses, and their objectives were not taken. They were forced to form a perimeter at Oosterbeek which they held stubbornly until 25 September, when it was decided to withdraw the remnants of the division across the lower Rhine.
Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery contains the graves of most of those killed during the September landings, and many of those killed in later fighting in the area.
There are now 1,691 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 245 of the burials are unidentified and two casualties are commemorated by special memorials. There are also 79 Polish, three Dutch and four non-war (including three former Commission employees) graves in the cemetery. (info August 2017)
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Philip Reinders, 2016