A wedding and a happy ending to 1945
This wedding photograph of 3597882 Private Hugh McGuinness, 1st Battalion The Border Regiment and his bride, the former Miss Irene Hollman of Whitehaven, Cumberland (now Cumbria) was taken on 29 December 1945. It is used with the permission of the McGuinness family. During the Second World War Hugh McGuinness served firstly with the 5th Battalion (T.A.) The Border Regiment before transferring to the 1st Battalion which became part of the Airborne Division.
In September 1944 - towards the end of the Battle of Arnhem - Regimental records show that Hugh McGuinness was among the last troops to surrender. His platoon only did so when ordered to do so after virtually everyone else capable of doing so had withdrawn. Virtually everyone else who remained was dead, dying, wounded or those caring for them. For the remainder of the war, Hugh was a Prisoner of War. For a time, Hugh’s sweetheart, family and friends did not know what had happened to him. As this photograph proves Hugh’s wartime story had a happy ending.
Like many other servicemen and women, after the war Hugh McGuinness rarely spoke to his family and friends about his wartime experiences. However, at the request of his C.O., Hugh McGuinness did leave an account in his own words about the final surrender of the Allied bridgehead of Operation Market Garden. This can now be found in the Border Regiment and KORBR Museum at Carlisle, Cumbria. For further details about 1st Border in Operation Market Garden and Hugh’s account of the final surrender click on ‘Comments’ below.