WOODWARD, DOUGLAS FREDERICK
Date of Death:
Text on stone:
The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry 1st Bn.
I. B. 05.
Proud and treasured memories of my beloved husband, on whose souls sweet Jesus, have mercy
Son of Frederick W. and Abi S. Woodward, of Bicester, Oxfordshire; husband of May Aldomla Woodward, of Bicester.
Killed during battles around the Wilhelmina Canal near the town of Oirschot. Initially buried at Oerle.
I am writing to give you a bit of history and personal information about my father.
He was born in Bicester, a market town in Oxfordshire. He was the youngest son of six children. Two boys and four girls. He met my mother May Hart when they were teenagers and i twa his one and only true love. When he left school he went to work in our towns co-op which was and still is a supermarket. He was soon promoted to assistant manager. He was very well loved and a popular man in Bicester town. He married my mother at Hethe Catholic CHurch. He converted tot he Catholic relegion to have the full ceremony in the church.
When I was born 4-12-42 he was away at the war, after joining the Oxford and Bucks regiment. I was named Patricia after a man called Patrick who was his close friend in the army and died just before I was born. I wonder if he is also is buried in Valkenswaard War Cemetery?
On the 60th aniversary myself, husband William, and our three sons came to Valkenswaard to meet up with Mr. Van Gent OBE and his wife Agnes who took us tot he grave, and the place where my father died by the canal. It was a very moving expierience one we shall never forget.
Since then all our seven grandchildren have visited the grave. They went every year for several years visiting Centre Parks and making it their base. We have many pictures, along with paper cuttings That I will send you.
My father was quitte a hero. The day before he died he managed to save several people from a burning farm house. I wish I could remember this brave, kind and wonderful man but sadly I was too young.