Donald Martin at the grave of Private Owen Hooper No.4 Commando
2nd Nov. 1984. Bergen-op-Zoom War Cemetery. Sgt Donald Martin at the grave of Pte Owen Hooper
These details and photo supplied by John Martin, nephew of Sergeant Donald Martin, No.4 Commando. " Pte Owen Hooper was killed crouching next to my uncle, Sgt Donald Martin. There was hard house to house fighting in Flushing. My uncle sought to gain entry into a house under enemy fire. Pte Hooper, who was part of a rifle support group, volunteered to go with him. Because my uncle was armed with a Thompson sub-machine gun, Pt Hooper hit the door with the butt of his rifle. The door was booby trapped, and the resulting explosion killed Pte Hooper instantly. My uncle was temporarily blinded by the dust and debris. My uncle always felt that Pte Hooper should not have been there. On the fortieth anniversary of that assault, we placed a wreath on Pte Hooper's grave in Bergen-op-Zoom cemetry. It was the first time my uncle had visited his grave. Needless to say, it was a terribly emotional moment for him given that he had survived. We were staying with a Dutch family in Halsteren, where my uncle had later been billeted. Over dinner, he recounted what had happened. Our host excused himself to make a phone call. Early next morning, there was an immaculate wreath delivered to the house for us to take to the grave. The Dutch do not forget."
In Memory of Private 6297771 OWEN GERRARD HOOPER
1st Bn.The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)
and No.4 Commando
who died age 31 on 02 November 1944
Remembered with honour BERGEN-OP-ZOOM WAR CEMETERY
Posted by Pete R.