LVT 'Conquerer' Destroyed by Booby Trap in Serooskerke
Updated: Nov 14
Unit/ Formation: 48 Cdo RM
Period/ Conflict: World War II
Date/s: 8 November 1944
A patrol from 48RM Commando was sent to Veere on the North East of the island of Walcheren travelling in a convoy of 4 amphibious Buffalo LVTs.
The second Buffalo with Lieutenant England in command struck a submerged 11inch Naval shell rigged up to a post as a mine.
Twenty men died, including five of the crew, an officer and 13 Royal Marines, and one medical orderly.
There is a Memorial to those who died near the Protestant Church of Serooskerke which lists names of the casualties.
A 45-year-old LOCAL woman: "When the column left Serooskerke fifteen minutes later in a southerly direction, the first buffalo had to move at the level of cafe 'Veldzicht' for the boat of the bar owner who came from the other side. The second buffalo, the 'Conqueror' who did not have to give way, ran on a submerged shell and was blown up with force. The Germans had placed a large shell from the coastal artillery as a booby trap and the first buffalo had been lucky."
Nineteen men were killed and nine wounded, of which one later died. The trip was immediately interrupted.
The wounded were placed in one of the buffalos and cared for in Serooskerke, after which the buffalos returned to Domburg around 3 p.m. (8 November 1944)
Battle for Antwerp by J.L. Moulton) :
"Guided by a Dutch civilian, the Buffaloes swam out into the floods across the nearby airfield, outflanking the pillboxes which were holding up the 4th KOSB to join the road beyond. One became entangled in the airfield obstructions and had to be left behind, and later another, sent to find a way around a nest of pillboxes near Middelburg, struck a large mine and was completely destroyed with six of the men in it killed and six wounded. A third was sent back with the wounded, but the remaining eight reached Middelburg and climbed out of the woods along the rising streets of the town."
Lieutenant Walter England, South African Tank Corps attached to 48RM Commando, died during operations at Walcheren, Holland. Son of Henry W. T. and Janet K. England, of Durban, Natal, South Africa. Lieutenant England was in command of one of four amphibious Buffaloes sent in convoy on a patrol to Veere on the North East of the island. More related Royal Marines History 'Dits'
Refernces/ further reading