Major Cotterell At Arnhem
A War Crime and a Mystery
Date of publication: October 2012
Conscripted into the British Army in 1940, talented journalist Anthony Cotterell was never going to be a natural soldier. Seeing that his abilities lay elsewhere, his superiors let him do what he did best – write. Within a few years he was one of the Army’s top journalists, covering landmark engagements such as the D-Day landings, and he became well-known in both civilian and military circles. He was then ordered to take part in the parachute drop at Arnhem in September 1944 as part of Operation Market Garden; he would never come home. Taken prisoner after the battle, on 23 September Major Cotterell was one of a group of British officers wounded when SS guards opened fire on the unarmed men. He then vanished without trace.
In Major Cotterell at Arnhem, Jennie Gray tells the story of Cotterell’s mysterious disappearance, the SS war crime and the subsequent three-year search mounted by the War Crimes and Search Bureau, the British War Crimes Group, the Netherlands War Crime Commission and by his brother, Geoffrey Cotterell. Complemented by Cotterell’s own writings, official War Crime Group documentation and the daily letters written by Geoffrey – an author himself and with whose cooperation this book was written – it is a fascinating and poignant story of one man lost in the tumult of war.