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Benjamin Bliss  

Servicenumber : 14397305
Rank : Private
Regiment : Royal Army Medical Corps
Unit : Attached to 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment
Date of Death : 19-09-1944
Age :
Grave : Plot 19. Row A. Grave 10.
Benjamin "Shorty" Bliss was attached to the headquarters of B Company. According to the Roll of Honour published by the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum (Jan Hey 1999 and 2011) Bliss was shot in the Kadestraat area near the road bridge at Arnhem. He went out into the open street (Marktstraat), just west of the bridge, with a fellow orderly (Desmond Davies) and a stretcher, in an attempt to help a wounded German soldier who lay there. Bliss was shot and killed before he could reach the man.
The author of the book 'Red berets and red crosses' (Niall Cherry 1998) wrote about Bliss (page 100): 'The final RAMC post I have been able to place was run by private Ben Bliss who had been attached to B Company 2nd Battalion since its formation and who was in the words of one of his compatriots 'a most dedicated chap and dearly loved'. He ran a Company Aid Post in a house just to the west of the road bridge until he was killed on 19 September. On this day there was a casualty lying on the road outside the house, and an eyewitness whoe name I am withholding relates what happened next.
'I had every reason to believe the casualty had been killed, but on seeing this, private Bliss without hesitation leapt from the house to render assistance. Ben showed utmost courage and devotion to duty. On reaching the casualty he was shot by a German sniper who clearly disregarded the fact that he wa wearing his Red Cross armband. The officer who was with us in the house, gave the order to get the sniper if it was the last thing we did. His order was carried out. As in most battles true courage and heroism and valour are not rewarded, but is was an honour and a privilege to have known him.'.
David van Buggenum also writes about Bliss. On page 100 he quotes private Alfred Warrender of B Company: "I think that Bliss was only 17 or 18 years old, in any case he was quite young. We became quite good friends though he didn't take pat in our drinking sessions back in England because of his age"..."When I looked outside I saw a wounded German lying in the middle of the road, about 14 yards from the house. He was crying out, presumably for help. We could not hear what he said and we didn't know how badly he had been hit. Bliss was downstairs and on hearing the German's cry he went out of the house to go help him. The men in the house called to him to leave the German alone but Bliss replied: 'If I die, at least I have done my job'. Before Bliss had time to treat the German he was hit by a sniper firing from a house on the corner of the bridge. I heard the shot and saw Bliss fall down beside the wounded German. At once all those in our house opened up on the sniper. Later on that day, the house where the sniper had been was destroyed." 
Bliss was given a field burial at the Arnhem General Cemetery (Moscowa).  
Picture: 23-09-2012
Picture: 12-09-2017
Picture: 23-06-2018
Sources: CWGC website, Red berets and red crosses (Niall Cherry), B Company Arrived (David G. van Buggenum)  and Roll of Honour (Jan Hey)


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