William John Jenkins

14631225, Private, 5th Battalion, Dorset Regiment.

Killed In Action on the 16th February 1945 aged 29.

William was the son of William & Bertha Jenkins and the husband of Beatrice Jenkins of 56 Ellis Avenue, Stevenage. He was mistakenly reported as killed in action in North Africa whilst serving with the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment. However, he was wounded in the thigh at Caen in July 1944 when his Battalion was involved in the storming of a wood.

On the 15th February 1945 the Battalion was involved in the push across the Rhine and the taking of the town of Goch. They set off towards the town of Berghof where they were tasked with capturing several objectives. After an hours march they arrived on the outskirts of the town where they came under machine gun fire from both the enemy and troops of the 7th Hampshire Regiment. It was not until the early hours of the 16th February that the situation became clear. At the same time as the Dorset’s had approached Berghof the enemy had counter attacked the town. The 7th Hampshire’s, not realising the situation, were not only keeping the Germans at bay but also the men of the 5th Dorset’s.  William was killed during this action, possibly by British troops.

He is buried in the Reichswald Forest cemetery, Germany. (56.F.2).

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