- William Alexander Kelly was a son of Henry
and Helen Gold Kelly. He was married to Audrey Joan Kelly, of Ely,
On the night of 5-6 june 1944 William Alexander
to Normandy onboard Short Stirling EF-295. The aircraft was hit and
crash landed near Grangues. Four men died as a result of the crash, but
seven survived. They were disarmed and taken prisoner by German forces
in the area. Although the circumstances are unclear, at some stage
during the night Corporal Kelly, along with, Sapper Wheeler,
Sapper Wolfe, Lance Corporal Branston and
Driver Thomson, all of 591 Parachute Squadron, were shot. Sapper
Guard, part of
the Royal Engineers of HQ 6th Airborne Division, and glider pilot Duncan
Wright were also killed.
On the website
the folllowing information about what happened with the eight men is
given: "What happened next was told by French witness Rolland Bertier
and confirmed by Captain Rankin who autopsied the bodies for the 1945
inquiry. Just after 2am on 6th June, the eight soldiers were led from
the stables. They had all been thoroughly searched when captured and had
no weapons. Outside they were made to lie on the ground face down.
Stabswebel Veiseler took his Walther P38 pistol and shot each man just
above the waist, one just below the head. They were dead in moment.
Around the Chateau trenches had been dug for building work. The bodies
were thrown in."
Kelly was given a field burial at Chateau de
Grangues. After a war crimes investigation his body was reinterred in
Ranville War Cemetery.
Herman Veiseler was never found. There is no
record of his death in German army records and his name does not appear
in lists of Allied prisoners of war. He never returned to his home town