On 19 September 1944, around midday, men of 4th Parachute Brigade Headquarters dug in on this site. Their commander, Brigadier J.W. Hackett, decided to move towards Dreyenseweg (to the east) to support the British attack on Arnhem. 156 Parachute Battalion advanced close to the railway line and 10th Parachute Battalion did the same via Amsterdamseweg (to the north). Both units repeatedly attacked German forces, but were repulsed with heavy losses.
As the Germans were closing in, Brigadier Hackett ordered his headquarters, 10th Battalion, 156 Battalion and 7th Battalion, The King’s Own Scottish Borderers, to fall back south of the railway line, towards Wolfheze (to the west). He, a number of his officers and a detachment of Defence Platoon stayed here to get all transport clear and to see that all troops were out. This group were responsible for inflicting casualties on the enemy, suffering some too. Several of their men were killed and wounded. A spirited counter attack, led by Brigade Major C.N.B. Dawson, just before dusk, gave some breathing space. Shortly after, this detachment also withdrew south of the railway line.
On April 1st, 2004, some manholes of the 4th Parachute Brigade’s HQ have been restored to their original state by some volunteers. Thanks to private donations a permanent plaque was erected in 2012. The manholes are situated south of Landing Zone "L", near the rail road from Wolfheze to Oosterbeek.
You may reach the location as follows: If you walk from the direction of Wolfheze towards the so called Jeep tunnel, you continue straight on in the direction of Oosterbeek. After 400 to 500 yards you will see a pathway on your left hand side, you have already crossed underneath the free way. You continue along this path till you arrive at a gate. Enter through the gate and turn sharp right. Than turn right again on to the mountain bike path. You follow this path till you arrive automatically at the manholes.
Photograph above: Manhole before restoration.
Photograph below: Manhole after restoration.
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- Text: Barry van Veen & Jeroen Niels
- Photos: Arjan Vrieze