The Creation of Arnhem-Oosterbeek Cemetery

Image courtesy of Gelders Archief, 1560-1847

This photograph shows the beginnings of the Arnhem-Oosterbeek cemetery in the summer of 1945. The land was obtained with the agreement of the Dutch authorities.

Colonel Arthur Owen Stott is believed to be the short figure on the left. The man on the right is thought to be Captain J T Long, of 37 Graves Registration Unit. The reasoning behind the identifications are as follows:

  • Stott had just completed the negotiations with the local Dutch authorities for the cemetery site, having recced the area personally,  4-6 June 1945, see document below.
  • Stott would definitely have been in the area at the time that the work  on the new cemetery was commencing.
  • He inspected the work in all the cemeteries under his care very frequently as they were being developed – he was a ‘hands-on’ commander.
  • Although it is very difficult to make out the face of the man in the photograph who is wearing the officer’s cap, he has the same shape of face and same type of moustache as Stott in his only known studio portrait (see: Colonel Arthur Stott). Also the man in this photograph would appear to have the same build, slightly tubby, with a short distance from shoulder to waist.
  • There is some evidence that Stott was not particularly tall for a man. His brother was less than 5 foot six inches tall and height often runs in families.
  • If this is Stott, then the man on the right, the junior of the two officers, is almost certainly Captain J T Long, of 37 Graves Registration Unit. The work at Arnhem-Oosterbeek had been placed under his control, although of course Stott was in overall charge.
Stott memorandum, 20 July 1945

Reference WO 171-3926, National Archives