Search for family of Mansfield Woodhouse soldier could be ‘final piece of historic tank tragedy DNA jigsaw’
No one has yet come forward after Chad submitted an appeal from German amateur historian Debbie Bülau to trace the family of Anthony Granville Frank Walter Taylor-Hurst.
Anthony was only 19 when the Sherman tank he was traveling in exploded while crossing a bridge in Kutenholz, near Hamburg, on May 1, 1945.
Four other Cold Stream Guards were killed in the tragedy, which happened just a week before the end of World War II 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 commemorated by German citizens, with headstones paid for by an anonymous German donor.
The queen would later thank the citizens, as one of the soldiers was the royal bodyguard, Lieutenant Robin Tudsbery. He was 25 when the armored car he was in exploded near the tank explosion. He had previously babysat the young Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret, before serving in Germany.
Now Debbie is still hoping someone might hold the key to finding Taylor Hurst’s family.
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Using a metal detector, the researchers explored the area where the explosions took place, discovered a piece of the tank and some human bones, including a pelvis and leg bones.
Recent DNA tests from family members of other soldiers were collected.
Debbie said: ‘We have traced the family of the other soldiers’ members, in our search we have made some wonderful friendships and relationships. It would be wonderful to reunite with Anthony Taylor Hurst’s family.
“We took DNA, although some of the families found were not suitable because they were not related by blood, but married in the families. What we need is to find the relatives of Taylor Hurst, he really is the last piece of the DNA puzzle.
“We recently found the family of Frank Lock’s brother. He is no longer alive, but he had five children and now the family is connected again and ready to take a DNA test.
“Only the Taylor-Hurst family can’t be tested, but if we have four out of five families that helps a lot, but I’m hoping to find that last tank crew family. The bones offer a clue of identity and will eventually be rebuilt buried.
Anthony GFW Hurst-Taylor was born in 1926 in Mansfield to Harry Hurst Taylor Rose (née Cooper) The couple had several children:
Anthony did not marry, but his brother Travers did. In 1951 he married a woman whose maiden name was “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 one son, Mark William Smith (b. 1973) who still lives in the Mansfield area. He would be a great-nephew of Anthony
Debbie added: “Taylor-Hurst wasn’t an only child, so hopefully there’s still family there.”