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Historian traces family of Woodhouse war hero

Posted onPosted on 7th Mar

An appeal in the News Journal to find the living relatives of a Mansfield Woodhouse soldier killed in the final days of the second world war has a happy ending.

Guardsman Anthony Granville Frank Walter Hurst-Taylor, 19, and four others from the Coldstream Guards were killed in Kutenholz, Germany on 1st May, 1945 when their Sherman tank was blown up by a mine.

Last year villagers created a memorial to the men, who were liberating their country from the Nazis, but had been unable to trace any relatives of Anthony (also known as Granville).

One of the villagers, amateur historian Debbie Bülau, who contacted the News Journal earlier this year, said they had found relatives of four of the tank crew, but Anthony’s family remained elusive.

Debbie explained: “They had come into our area to liberate us. It is sad as many of them were really young.

“It was important to let families know what happened to their loved ones when they died here — and that there is now a memorial to them.”

After the appeal, which prompted several people to come forward and was also supported by ITV Central, the children of Anthony’s brother, Jim, were traced.

That led to ITV putting Jim’s children — Granville, of Mansfield Woodhouse, and his sisters Patricia, Rose and Suzanne — in touch with Debbie.

They have described the new memorial in Germany as absolutely wonderful and thanked Debbie and the villagers for their memorial.

Debbie added: “I am so happy that we have found some relatives and so thankful to every who worked on this appeal to help us.”

Now the villagers in Kutenholz are planning a memorial service in May to the soldiers killed in the tank tragedy and others who died in the area, including those who were passing by on Nazi death marches from concentration camps, children of women who were forced into labour, and prisoners of war.

Another person to get in touch was Beryl Wisniewski, who recalled Anthony’s parents, Harry and Rose. Rose was her grandmother’s sister and she remembered visiting ‘uncle’ Harry as a child. She said it was Rose who persuaded her grandmother to move to Mansfield Woodhouse in the 1930s.