The grave of a soldier who fought with the Parachute Regiment has been rededicated after almost 75 years.
A new headstone was dedicated to 26-year-old Lance Corporal William Loney at a moving service at Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery in the Netherlands.
LCpl Loney was born in Westtown, West Yorkshire on 25 July 1918. Prior to joining up he was a keen footballer and worked as a labourer in Adams Mill, Dewsbury.
Reverend Dr Brutus Green said:
“It was an honour to be here in Arnhem during the commemoration week to lead the service for Lance Corporal William Loney.
“It is incredibly important for the regiment to remember brave men like William, and the sacrifices they made for us.”
William was called up for national service and originally served as a gunner for 17 Field Regiment Royal Artillery.
He later volunteered to join the Army Air Corps on 2 November 1942, where he was enlisted in C-Coy, 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment.
LCpl Loney then saw action in North Africa and Italy before being promoted to Lance Corporal in June 1944.
As part of the infamous Operation Market Garden, C-Coy, 2nd Battalion was dropped on 17 September.
Sadly, it was here that LCpl Loney lost his life along with his comrades Private Norman Shipley and Private Thomas Pratt.
At the time, all three were reported missing.
LCpl Loney’s burial place had remained unknown until the grave of an unknown soldier buried in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery was brought to the attention of the Joing Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) by the Royal Netherlands Army’s Recovery and Identification Unit.
Now, after extensive historical research into the unknown grave and the circumstances surrounding William’s death, it has been confirmed as his. Nicola Nash, JCCC, said:
“It has been a very emotional day for everyone involved in this case.”
“It was fantastic to see so many members of the Parachute Regiment in attendance. It was a fitting tribute to the bravery of William Loney and recognition for the sacrifice he made for our freedom.”
A new headstone bearing LCpl Loney’s name is now in place, commemorating his sacrifice forever.