MI9 Escape Report for Sgt George Kay


M.I.9/S/I.G. (M) 2357.

(See also I.S.9/WEA/2/634/2191.)


The information contained in this report is to be treated as SECRET.

ACCOUNT OF ESCAPE OF 3854428. Sgt. KAY, George. 1 Abn Recce Sqn,

1 Airborne Division.

Captured:         OOSTERBEEK, 24 Sep 44.                  Escaped:          TEUGE, 26 Sep 44.

Left:                 EINDHOVEN, 24 Oct 44.                     Arrived:           U.K, 24 Oct 44.

Date of Birth:   16 May 1917.                                       Peacetime Profession: Regular Army.

Army Service:  Since 16 Jul 35.                                    Private Address: 101 Alder Crescent,

                                                                                                                        Luton, BEDS.

17 Sep, Dropped by parachute near OOSTERBEEK.

I was dropped with my Squadron at 14.00 hrs on 17 Sep 44 on the outskirts of OOSTERBEEK [WOLFHEZE] (N.W. EUROPE 1:250,000 Sheet 2A and 3A, E 7079). We had a skirmish with enemy formations and the Squadron was split up. Some of the Squadron went to ARNHEM Bridge (E 77), but Lt. WADSWORTH and three Pte’s (names unknown) and I stayed at OOSTERBEEK [WOLFHEZE] with other formations of airborne troops.

18 Sep 44, Wounded and taken to hospital.

On 18 Sep I was wounded in the right forearm and hand. I was taken to a dressing station in OOSTERBEEK [WOLFHEZE]. Later that day I was moved to a school in the town. I remained there until 22 Sep when the school was shelled. The M.O., Capt. DOYLE, 181 Field Ambulance Unit, was killed. Later that day the schoolhouse was evacuated, and I was moved to a large house on the outskirts of OOSTERBEEK.

24 Sep 44, Captured by Germans at OOSTERBEEK.

On 24 Sep this house was shelled despite clear RED Cross markings. Later that day the house was taken over by the Germans.

24 Sep 44, Attempted escape.

Soon after the German occupation of the house I made a pretence of going to the lavatory which was situated in the grounds of the house. I then ran off through the woods. I was recaptured by three German sentries after I had run about 200 yards. I was taken back to the house.

24 Sep 44, Second attempted escape.

Before dusk that evening I repeated my previous attempt to escape, and after travelling about half a mile through the woods I was wounded in the face by shrapnel. A few moments later I was recaptured by seven Germans and taken back to the house. I was not punished, but a sentry was placed in the ward where I was.

25 Sep 44, In hospital at ARNHEM.

On 25 Sep all walking casualties, including myself, were marched to the hospital in ARNHEM. That evening we were placed in lorries and taken to a military barracks on the outskirts of APELDOORN (Z 7903).

26 Sep 44, APELDOORN station.

At 03.00 hrs on 26 Sep I was placed with nine other wounded in an ambulance. On the way to APELDOORN station a paratrooper (name unknown) prized open the rear door of the ambulance. I was at the front of the ambulance and could not get past the others who refused to jump out. On arrival at the station we were transferred to [a] goods wagon. We were then given bread and some sausage meat. We were told that these rations were to last for two days. There were about 700 airborne troops on the train and, in my opinion, 90 per cent were wounded.

We remained in the wagons at APELDOORN station until dusk. During this time some of the men were given water, but others were refused.

During the day L/Cpl. COOK, 11 Bn. Para Regt, 1 Airborne Div cut through a board in the side of the wagon in such a way that the board could be removed at will and the holding bar of the door released. There were 22 men in the wagon.

26 Sep 44, Jumped off train at TEUGE.

After dusk the train began to move, travelling towards DEVENTER (Z 90). L/Cpl. COOK then opened the wagon door and Pte. KERR, L/Cpl. COOK, Pte. BRIGHT and I jumped off the train near TEUGE (Z 8405). The four of us got together within a few minutes, and then went to a farm, where we were given hot milk. We then walked S.W. across country and arrived at a farm near WOUDHUIS (Z 8203), where we stayed until 28 Sep. We then moved to a neighbouring farm, where we remained until 29 Sep. During this time we were visited by a Dutchman who made arrangements for our accommodation at another house. Pte’s. BRIGHT and KERR did not stay at the same house as L/Cpl. COOK and myself.

29 Sep 44, near APELDOORN.

On 29 Sep L/Cpl. COOK and I were escorted to another house, where we remained until 21 Oct. On that day two Dutchmen escorted us to a house on the N.W. outskirts of APELDOORN. L/Cpl. COOK was then taken to another house, and I did not see him again.

22 Oct 44, Joined main party at RENKUM.

On 22 Oct a Dutchman escorted me to EDE (E 5985). We travelled by bicycle. Later that day I was taken by bicycle to a wood near RENKUM (E 6177), where I met a large party of airborne troops.

The remainder of my experiences are as related by Major. TATHAM-WARTER in his report (S/F.G. (H) 2777).

I saw Lt. GUTHRIE, 1 Airborne Recce Sqn on the train at APELDOORN. As far as I am aware he has not been reported P/W. I also saw Major. STEWART, M.C., C.S.M. GRIMSHAW, Sgt. PURSHOUSE and Pte. KELLY, all of 1 Bn Border Regt, on the train at APELDOORN.

INTERVIEWED BY: I.S.9 (W). 10 Jan 45.


270898. Capt. J.T. DOYLE. 181 A/L Fld Ambulance. KIA: 21/09/44.

5110007. L/Cpl. COOK, H. 11th Para Bn.

14421741. Pte. KERR, A. 10th Para Bn.

14640550. Pte. BRIGHT, J.N. 11th Para Bn.

67798. Maj. R.H. STEWART. 1st Bn, The Border Regt. WIA/POW.

3597341. CSM: GRIMSHAW, F. 1st Bn, The Border Regt. WIA/POW.

406274. Sgt. PURSHOUSE, S.P. 1st Bn, The Border Regt. WIA/POW.

3595395. Pte. KELLY, J. 1st Bn, The Border Regt. WIA/POW.

Transcribed by R Hilton 

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