Missing Soldier-Journalist: Anthony Cotterell

The above picture was carried in his wallet by Anthony’s devoted brother Geoffrey throughout his long post-war search for the truth of what had happened to Anthony. Anthony had disappeared in Holland after being wounded during a war crime committed by the SS against unarmed British prisoners of war.

As a Major serving in Occupied Germany after the war, Geoffrey was in a unique position to carry out investigations into the crime and its aftermath, beginning the search only one year after Anthony had disappeared. Although he continued the quest for many years after being demobbed, ultimately Geoffrey was unsuccessful.

In 2016, a reader of this website came up with an all too plausible explanation of why Anthony’s body had never been identified. See COMMENTS below.

5 thoughts on “Missing Soldier-Journalist: Anthony Cotterell

  1. Dear mrs Gray,
    On a page (see link below), I found a account of te events leading to the execution of an American airman ( Galle) in november 1944 in Enschede. I contacted you before about this because of similarity with finding the suposed body of Anthony Cotterel in the same region ( les than a mile apart) looks like the same MO.
    As I stated before, During that time the SD made use of a villa just to the North East of Enschede. Due to that and the fact that in both cases the uniform was stripped from the airman and from the body of Anthony and replaced by civilian clothing and the conclusion which I found in the article which suport my theory (see link) I thought I might send you this extra info. Whenever things pop up you might use it as an extra handle
    André van Aarsen


    Requisitioned Civilian Clothing
    Shortly after the war, when the War Crimes Investigators searched the Villa a number of civilian suits were found which, it was established, had been seized by the SS from the local neighbourhood. The significance of this, I would suggest, is that it was a common occurrence that when aircrews baled out over the occupied area many were murdered by the SD, but before execution the individual was stripped of his uniform and dressed in civilian clothing. This no doubt, was to conceal the identity of the victim should their remains be recovered at a later date. It didn’t go unnoticed by the Nazis that the war was not quite going according to plan.

    1. Dear André van Aarsen

      Thank you very much for sending this information. I am afraid that it looks all too horribly plausible that this is how Anthony met his death, which would explain why, despite the exhaustive investigation into what had happened to him, the truth was never established. I am only glad that his devoted brother Geoffrey did not live to read about this possibility as it would have been deeply distressing to him.

      Kind regards

  2. I’ve only just found this and read it after extensive reading and investigating my great uncles death. As Jennie said this is very plausible as to what happened to him rip. Rip Geoffrey (shrubs) as he was known to the family.

    1. Thank you, Steven. I am not sure if you have read my book MAJOR COTTERELL AT ARNHEM, A WAR CRIME AND A MYSTERY. If you have and discovered more information than I had in there, please let me know. Shubbs’s help was invaluable, and I had the great pleasure of going to Arnhem with him twice. Unforgotten.

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