William Young b1919 -d1944

This article remembers Blantyre man, William Young, who sadly lost his young life during WW2.

William Stewart Young was born on 18th July 1919 in Calder Street Blantyre, he was the son of miner, Robert Young who was employed at local Dixon’s Collieries. It must have filled the family with hope having a child so soon after WW1 ended, hope for a better future, and sadly they didn’t know how short his life would be and that another war loomed.

The family during the 1920’s lived at Dixon’s Rows at Calder Street, Blantyre, (those homes demolished in the 1950s). Serving with the Dorsetshire Regiment, In November 1943, the 1st Battalion moved back to Britain in preparation for its landing in Normandy on D-Day (6 June 1944). It then fought its way through North West Europe until late 1944 when heavy losses led to its withdrawal from the frontline. The 4th and 5th Battalions were both part of 130th Infantry Brigade in the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division, participating in the Normandy Campaign, Operation Market Garden and the Rhine Crossings.

Private Young sadly died on 5th October 1944, aged just 25. He is buried in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery. Although William has no grave in High Blantyre Cemetery, he is remembered here, his name engraved on the High Blantyre War Memorial.

The story of the Dorsetshire Regiments seems to be well documented online. There’s a good video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=n3jmv_YvjHo which summarises their efforts and sacrifices very well.

Now why am I posting this week? After all, it’s still some weeks until remembrance.

Well, this week, the “Airborne Freedom Run” took place in the Netherlands and the friend of Blantyre Project readers Tracey Van Oeffelen and Jimmy Hilgen, Bas is running specifically in remembrance of William Young. The run has already taken place in blistering 30 degree heat in the Netherlands.

This Blantyre soldier was well and truly remembered. Photos of that day last week are attached including one of Bas and William’s grave.

Although we’ve never met, I would like on behalf of the community of Blantyre to say a huge thank you to Bas for his kind, respectful efforts. Well done!

Rest in Peace William Young.

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  1. A moving story of an even more moving youtube account of the sacrifices imposed on the Dorsets in the name of freedom. Sadly, there are still up to 25 M.I.A..

    Are there living relatives of Private Young still in Blantyre?
    It would be fitting if Bas, Tracy and Jimmy could meet them, Blantyre or Netherlands.
    It is wonderful to have one of Blantyre’s own who gave the ultimate sacrifice, remembered in such a way.
    Thank you Bas and thanks to Tracy and Jimmy for bringing the story to Paul.

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