William Dare

William was born in 1913 in Kingsbridge, the son of William and Susan Dare.  He married Norah Evelyn Ruse of Loddiswell, Devon

He joined the Army, serving as a Private in the 2nd Battalion Devonshire Regiment.  The 2nd Devons landed in Sicily on 10th July 1943.  In the seven-week campaign that followed they advanced north west and then east, fighting actions at Vizzini, Agira and Regalbutto and liberating the south-eastern corner of the island below Mount Etna.  The campaign cost them 19 killed and 94 wounded.  On 8th September they landed in Italy on the Calbrian coast at Porto San Venere and led the Brigade’s advance to the Amato River before being withdrawn and returned to the UK to play a leading role in the D-Day landings.

On D-Day the 2nd Devons landed immediately behind the 1st Hampshires and 1st Dorsets and then passed through to capture Ryes and an enemy coastal battery at Longues.  In the Normandy campaign they fought at La Belle Epine(near Trungy), at Hottot, at Le Lion Vert and at Les Forges on the road to Conde sur Noireau.  After the rapid advance across the Seine and through Belgium, they played a part in Operation Market Graden, an ambitious scheme by General Montgomery to capture the bridges across the River Rhine and advance deep into northern Germany and shorten the war.

On 17 September the airborne divisions landed. Eventually all the bridges were captured in what was one of the largest airborne operations in history but the plan failed largely because of 30 Corps’ inability to reach the furthest bridge at Arnhem before German forces overwhelmed the British defence.  Allied intelligence had failed to detect the presence of German tanks, including elements of two SS Panzer divisions.

William Dare was killed in action on the first day of Operation Market Garden on 17th September 1944, and is buried in the Valkenswaard War Cemetery. Valkenswaard was the first village to be liberated on the main line of the British advance into Holland in September 1944. The cemetery, which lies in a pinewood, contains over 220 graves, almost all of them are those of men who fell in the fighting in the woods around Valkenswaard during that month. His memorial says ‘Not just today but every day in silence we remember”

Where Born:Kingsbridge
Marital Status:Married
Next of Kin:Son of William and Susan Dare; husband of Norah Evelyn Dare (nee Ruse), Loddiswell, Devon
Service Number:5617238
Unit2nd Bn Devonshire Regt
Died On:17th September 1944
Where Buried:Valkenswaard War Cemetery. Ref II.A.15
Memorial:'Not just today but every day in silence we remember"