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Urquhart presumed dead

FightingVictory and defeat




On 18 September 1944, Major-General Urquhart and Brigadier Lathbury were the two most important commanders during the Battle for Arnhem. Urquhart got so frustrated about the poor radio contact that decided to go and see for himself how his troops were doing. He ended up in the middle of the firing lines and had to flee into a house as a result. His troops presumed he was dead.

Zwarteweg 14 is just like any other terraced house in Arnhem West, but in September 1944, it played a crucial role in the Battle of Arnhem when British commander Major-General Urquhart spent about 24 hours hiding in Anton Derksen's attic. Shortly after the British paratroops landed near Arnhem on 17th September, radio communication failed and Major-General Urquhart decided to leave his headquarters to find out what was going on.

On 18th September, he and Brigadier Gerald Lathbury found themselves in the Arnhem district of Lombok. When they tried to find their way back to headquarters, they ended up going the wrong way, heading towards the German positions. Lathbury was shot in the back and left in a nearby house. Urquhart and two other officers carried on, but ended up having to hide in another house. It was Anton Derksen's house on the Zwarteweg road, number 14. Anton Derksen hid them in the attic until they were rescued by the British troops making their final attempt to secure the bridge at Arnhem on 19th September 1944.

Utrechtseweg-Zwarteweg, Arnhem