Family of WW2 war hero urged to get in touch after his grave is found 70 years on

Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, Border Regiment, Oosterbeek 20 September 1944 Credit: Crown Copyright

The MOD are appealing for the family of Lance Corporal Raymond Halliday to get in touch after his grave was found - 70 years after he was killed in action.

Lance Corporal Raymond Halliday enlisted in the Border Regiment in April 1940 but was killed in 1944 during the last few days of Operation Market Garden in Oosterbeek, the Netherlands.

Who was Raymond?

Raymond was born in Durham in January 1918 to Henry and Nancy Halliday.

He married Lily Hunter in 1934 and it is believed that they had a son together, also called Raymond.

He was part of 1st (Airborne) Battalion, The Border Regiment and fought in Oosterbeek during Operation Market Garden, one of the most controversial Allied operations of the Second World War.

What was Operation Market Garden?

  • The operation was conceived by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery as an attempt to end the war early.

  • The operation began on 17 September 1944, lasted for seven days and involved over 30,000 men.

  • The aim was to take the eight key bridges that span the network of canals and rivers on the Dutch/German border.

  • Once the Airborne troops had landed, they began to advance towards Arnhem.

  • They quickly found their radios were not working, communication with other Brigades became nearly impossible resulting in only one British Battalion managing to find its way through the German perimeter.

  • On the third day they reached the Nijmegen Bridge, but crossing it was extremely costly to the Allies.

  • By this point the paratroopers had barely any supplies left and had lost huge amounts of men.

  • The Allies were forced to abandon their positions and try to fight their way out.

  • Three miles from Arnhem, British paratroopers were holding a pocket of land at Oosterbeek.

  • It was decided to evacuate the Allied troops and Operation Market Garden failed.

How his grave was found

Since the Second World War, the Recovery and Identification Service of the Royal Netherlands Army has been working to identify the graves of unknown soldiers killed in the battle at Arnhem.

The exhumation reports from 1946 were scrutinised for clues to the identities of these unknown soldiers and the research was presented to the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

After performing an in depth examination, six Border Regiment soldiers have now been identified.

One of these soldiers is Lance Corporal Raymond Halliday.

Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, Border Regiment, Oosterbeek 20 September 1944 Credit: Crown Copyright

The MOD is now launching an appeal to track down any of Raymond’s surviving relatives so that they can be invited to attend the service which will take place at Oosterbeek Cemetery on 14 September.