Lieutenant Peter L Bucknall

17 Sep 1944

Lieutenant Peter Lacey Bucknall was the son of Jack H and Grace M Bucknall, of Birmingham, and served as Section Commander of 8 Section, C Troop of 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron, Royal Armoured Corps.He took part in the Battle of Arnhem, during Operation Market Garden.

Parachute trained troops jumped just after 14:00 hours on Sunday 17 September with the remainder of men and equipment arriving by glider. Most of the Squadron was ready to depart from Renkum Heath by 15:40 hours, with C Troop tasked to lead the advance towards Arnhem.

Lt Bucknall proceeded in one jeep with the first three men available from his section: Troopers Goulding, Brumwell and Gorringe. Sgt McGregor followed in a second jeep with the remaining men of No 8 section.

After departing the Heath the Squadron's leading jeeps made good progress and stopped to rendezvous on the approaches to Wolfheze. It was decided that Lt Bucknall's Section would take the lead in the advance a couple of miles further on from the RV. At the agreed position No 9 Section pulled over and Bucknall's two Section jeeps swept through at speed followed by No 7 Section.

Having taken the level crossing the jeeps advanced down Johannahoeveweg which ran eastwards from the station as a narrow avenue. About a third of a mile from the Wolfheze junction the road dips down and up again. The railway embankment running parallel commands the space around this dip.

As Bucknall's jeep proceeded down into the dip and up the other side it was ambushed by a defensive blocking line of men from the 16th SS Panzer Grenadier Battalion. All four men in the first jeep including Lt Bucknall were killed in the ambush and initially given a field burial in a garden at Duitsekampweg.

Lieutenant Bucknall died on 17 September 1944, aged 23 years old and is now buried at Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Arnhem.

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Service History

Peter L Bucknall


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