Mansfield Woodhouse soldier family search could be 'last piece in historic tank tragedy DNA puzzle'
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No one has yet come forward after the Chad featured a plea by German amateur historian Debbie Bülau to trace the family of Anthony Granville Frank Walter Taylor-Hurst.
Anthony was just 19 when the Sherman tank he was travelling in exploded going over a bridge at Kutenholz, near Hamburg, on May 1, 1945.
Four other Cold Stream Guards were killed in the tragedy, which happened just a week before the Second World War ended on May 8. The soldiers were on their way to liberate a nearby town.
Anthony and his comrades, Lance Sergeant John Thomas Green, 25, and Guardsmen Ronald Gilbert Moore, 21, Stanley Somerset, 19, and Frank Lock, 27, were among 14 British soldiers who died in the area.
They were later memorialised by the German citizens, with gravestones paid for by an anonymous German donor.
The Queen would later thank the citizens, as one of the soldiers was royal body guard Lieutenant Robin Tudsbery. He was 25, when the armoured car he was in was blown up near the tank explosion. He had previously guarded the young Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret, before serving in Germany.
Now Debbie is still hopeful that someone may hold the key to tracing Taylor Hurst’s family.
Using a metal detector, researchers have explored the area where the explosions took place, discovered a piece of the tank and some human bones, including a pelvis andleg bones.
Recent DNA tests from the other soldiers’ family members have been gathered.
Debbie said: “We have traced family of members of the other soldiers, in our research we have made some wonderful friendships and connections. It would be wonderful to trace the family of Anthony Taylor Hurst.
“We've taken DNA, although some of the families traced were not suitable, as they were not blood relatives, but married into the families. What we need is to find the relatives of Taylor Hurst, he is really the last piece in the DNA puzzle.
"We recently found the family of Frank Lock's brother. He isn't alive anymore, but he had five children and now the family is connected again and are willing to be tested for DNA.
"Only the Taylor-Hurst family cannot be tested, but if we have four families from five that helps very much but I’m hoping to find this last family of the tank crew. The bones offer a clue to identity, and will eventually re buried.
Anthony G.F.W. Hurst-Taylor was born in 1926 in Mansfield to Harry Hurst Taylor Rose (née Cooper) The couple had several children:
Anthony didn’t marry, but his brother Travers did. In 1951 he married a woman with maiden name ‘Smedley’. Travers had at least two children, Jennifer R born in 1951 and Michael, born in 1956).
Jennifer married William Smith in 1968 in Mansfield, the couple had a son, Mark William Smith (born in 1973) believed to be still living in the Mansfield area . He would be a great nephew of Anthony
Debbie added: “Taylor-Hurst was not an only child, so we hope there’s still family out there.”
To contact see Debbie’s Facebook page, or email: [email protected]