Private Jack Lockwood was just 18 when he was mown down by machine gun bullets while attempting to liberate towns in the southern Netherlands from German invaders during the Second World War.
More than 70 years have passed since his death on October 23 1944 but local people in the town of Schijndel haven’t forgotten the bravery of the Allied forces.
Historian Dirk Paagman, who teaches history at Maurick College, in Vught, Holland, was born in Schijndel and is currently writing a book about the men who helped liberate his home town.
He’s keen to hear from anyone who may have a photo of Pte Lockwood or any further details about his life.
Mr Paagman’s two-part book includes the role of American paratroopers who landed on the moorlands of Schijndel during Operation Market Garden from September 17 1944.
The second part of the story is about the 51st Highland Division which took over the American lines in October 1944 near Veghel and attacked German forces at Schijndel on October 23 1944 during Operation Colin.
The overall aim was to liberate the rest of the south of the Netherlands.
One of the fighting units which took part was the 5th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders which included Pte Lockwood among its ranks.
“They were given the task of taking the German positions west of Schijndel from midnight at the small village of Wijbosch,” says Mr Paagman.
“It became a bloody affair. Of the four attacking companies 11 British troops were killed and 60 men were severely wounded, of whom unfortunately more died from their injuries within a few days.
“One of the soldiers who was attacking the German positions at Schijndel was Pte Jack Lockwood (service number 14719323), who was the son of Crossland and Elizabeth Lockwood.
“He was 18 years old when he died near the railroad, killed by bullets from a German machinegun while leading the attack.
“Jack was buried with his 11 friends at a farm near the village of Sint Oedenrode.
“He received a temporary field grave until 1946. Then he was reburied at the Uden War Cemetery in Uden.
“By tracing the family, I have found that Jack Lockwood had one younger brother who was born in 1928 and died in 1987. The family was living at 24 Beck Lane, Batley.”
Mr Paagman wants to know whether any Examiner readers can help his quest for a photo of Pte Lockwood.
“I would really like to know how he looked. It would be an honour if I could incorporate his photo and his story in my book about the liberation of Schijndel.
“I think it would be of great historical importance to visualise the story by showing the men who actually liberated Schijndel.”
According to Commonwealth War Graves Commission records, Pte Lockwood’s parents were from Whitley, Dewsbury.
He is buried among 699 other casualties including men from his own regiment, among them Leeds man William George McClelland, 33, who died on the same day.
The inscription on Pte Lockwood’s headstone reads: “A smiling face, a heart of gold, the dearest son this world could hold.”
* Mr Paagman can be emailed on: D.Paagman@maurickcollege.nl