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William Alexander Kelly

Servicenumber : 1944972
Rank : Corporal
Regiment : Royal Engineers
Unit : 591 Parachute Squadron
Date of Death : 06-06-1944
Age : 28
Grave : Plot IIIA. Row F. Grave 2.
William Alexander Kelly was a son of Henry and Helen Gold Kelly. He was married to Audrey Joan Kelly, of Ely, Cambridgeshire.
On the night of 5-6 june 1944 William Alexander Kelly flew 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, Lance-Corporal Fraser, 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 www.normandythenandnow.com 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 in Germany.
 Picture: 03-05-2016
Deep in our hearts
A memory is kept
Of one that we love
And will never forget
Sources: Website CWGC


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