The Men

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T W Y

OAKLEY, HARRY JOHN

Rank:
Service No:
Date of Death:
Age:
Regiment/Service:

Grave Reference:
Text on stone:

Rank:
Service No:
Date of Death:
Age:
Regiment/Service:
Grave Reference:
Text on stone:

Private
14696512
17/09/1944
19
Devonshire Regiment 2nd Bn.
II. A. 9.
Just a memory, fond and true from us who thought the world of you.
mum, dad, sisters and brothers

 

Additional Information:
Son of John and Daisy Oakley, of Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.

Harry John Oackley served with the 2nd Battalion Devons. On the 17th of September 1944 his unit was part of an operation called “Market Garden”.  The Devons were clearing the flanks for the Irish Guards during their race to reach Arnhem. Next to the road from Lommel, Belgium, toward Valkenswaard, Harry Oakley was killed.

Harry didn´t have to enlist, but signed up when he was 16 by lying about his age.

More info in the book “De weg naar Valkenswaard”.

He was always known as John and his father was known as Jack. John had three younger sisters, Violet, Joan and Maurice. My mother remembers John well and said he was a lovely person and good fun. He also worked on the land when he left school, as Biggleswade is a rural area and is well known for producing vegetables, especially Brussels sprouts.

Before John left to join up, the family had a party at the pub, which was near to where John lived, called the Gardeners Arms. Mum said everyone had a good time and got a bit tipsy but they all knew it could be the last time they saw him.

Original gravesite along the road from Belgium towards Valkenswaard.