Monday, September 5, 2016

Hotel Dreyeroord

John Crosson’s story starts on 17th September 1944 as gliders land near Arnhem (the Netherlands).

John is a sniper in No. 6 Platoon B Company of the 7th Battalion The King’s Own Scottish Borderers who have been given the job of protecting the landing zones. On 18th and 19th September, they join the 4th Parachute Brigade and make their way to the Dreyeroord Hotel, “The White House”, in Oosterbeek. They arrive on 20th September 1944 and patrols are dispatched to the railway line and the surrounding houses during the night.

The German attack is unrelenting and the enemy forces its way deep into the hotel’s grounds. On 21st September, Lieutenant-Colonel Payton-Reid leads a bayonet charge that is only partially successful and the King’s Own Scottish Borderers fail to hold their position at the hotel. The British are forced to pull back to positions to the south of the hotel, ending the Battle of The White House.

The British suffer severe losses during the battle and bury their dead in the hotel’s gardens wherever they can. After the war, they are moved to the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek. Last Friday, Crosson and other British veterans were at the hotel to show support for the preservation of this former hotel - threatened to be bulldozed. It forms a small part of the program of their stay in the Netherlands because of the seventieth Airbone March, Saturday in Oosterbeek.

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