Corporal Sidney George Rayner was the son of Edwin and Ellen Jane Rayner, and the husband of Cecily Violet Rayner, of Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.
After initial enlistment with The Essex Regiment, he joined airborne forces and served with HQ 1st Airborne Division in the Defence Platoon. In September 1944, he took part in the Battle of Arnhem, during Op Market Garden. One of the few from 1st Airborne Division to escape from the battle, he remained with the Divisional Defence Platoon and in early May 1945, was amongst the troops sent to Norway as part of Op Doomsday to keep order and disarm the German forces in the region.
On 10 May 1945 Short Stirling, LK297, l9-G took off from RAF Great Dunmow at 0355 hours, bound for Gardermoen airfield in Norway. The aircraft crashed at Andtjernâsen, ten miles north of Oslo, plowed down the hillside and exploded. The weather conditions at the time were terrible, with thick fog and rain compounding problems created by the poor signal from the Eureka beacon at Gardermoen. The crash killed all on board, including the six crew members, Air Vice-Marshal J R Scarlett-Streatfield, and 17 members of the British 1st Airborne Division, who where being transported to Oslo as part of Operation Doomsday.
The aircraft was not found until 21 June 1945, when soon afterwards they where buried at Vestre Gravlund in Oslo. In 1995 a large memorial marker was raised at the crash site.
Corporal Rayner died on 10 May 1945, aged 28 years old. He is now buried in a collective grave at Vestre Gravlund, Western Civil Cemetery, Oslo, Norway.
Compiled with assistance from Phil JennettRead More