One of the major problems encountered at Arnhem was the failure of the radio sets used; they either did not work, or ground conditions and the existance of so many areas full of trees often made radio links unworkable. Exasperated by these problems Major General Roy Urquhart, commanding 1st (Airborne) Division, went off to see what the situation in Arnhem was like himself on the afternoon of 17th September 1944 - the first day of the landings. Here he met with Brigadier Gerald Lathbury, commanding 1st Parachute Brigade, in the area of a small housing estate west of St Elizabeth's Hospital. Wanting to return to HQ, Urquhart left the building he was in with Lathbury when they came under fire and the Brigadier was seriously wounded. The small party with Urquhart got Lathbury into a nearby building, where they left him with a Dutch family who got him to hospital. Retreating down some narrow alleyways, with the Germans close by, the General and his two companions were called into the back of No 14 Zwarteweg, and shown into the attic. Germans were now all round, with a Stug III assault gun in the street out front. Trapped, they would remain here pretty much useless until "released" by men of 2nd South Staffs on the morning of 19th September.
Today, although the same family do not own the house as those that did in 1944, a plaque on the wall records it's connection with the now famous General and this unique episode in the Battle for Arnhem. While you should respect private property at all times, it is still possible to wander the alleys to the rear of No 14, just as Urquhart did sixty years ago - very little has changed.
ŠPAUL REED 2004/5