The main research for this website was carried out by Jennie Gray between 2012-2016, for a PhD at the University of Exeter, entitled:
‘NOTHING CAN EXCUSE US IF WE FAIL’: The British and their Dead Servicemen, North-West Europe, 1944-1951
Jennie Gray’s PhD was taken under the supervision of Professor Richard Overy, the renowned historian of the Second World War. The examining board members were Professor Richard Toye and Professor Jeremy Crang, and the doctorate was awarded in July 2016.
Since then, a number of other research avenues have been explored, particularly in connection with Colonel Arthur Owen Stott, and with the RAF’s continued work to name and bury its airmen after the main work for the missing had been completed.
The inspiration for the PhD thesis came from the research that Jennie Gray carried out on Anthony Cotterell, who disappeared after the battle of Arnhem in September 1944 and whose fate was never determined despite an exhaustive post-war search. Jennie Gray’s two books on Anthony Cotterell are Major Cotterell and Arnhem: A War Crime and a Mystery and This is War, a collection of his diaries and journalism, both published by Spellmount.
The picture at the head of this page is of Jennie Gray and Geoffrey Cotterell, Anthony’s brother, in 2009, in the cemetery at Enschede, Holland, where Anthony is possibly buried. For a fuller description of the mystery surrounding Anthony Cotterell’s burial place, see this page: Major Cotterell and Pilot Officer Benting