Edward Trochim

Edward Trochim
© MarketGarden.com
22 December 1922, Kamionka, Sokolka, Białystok
19 September 1944, LZ Johannahoeve

Edward Trochim
Plot XXV Row B Grave 12
Field grave location:

For a long time, this grave had a headstone reading “A soldier of the war 1939 – 1945”. It was in the summer of 2021 that after thorough research it became clear the the remains in plot 25, row B grave 12 belonged to corporal Edward Trochim. He died when his glider landed amidst fiercy fighting on the Johannahoeve, September 19th 1944. The text below was written in 2021 and first published on ‘Polen in Beeld’.

Unknown soldier gets a name: Corporal Edward Trochim

One of the Unknown soldiers at the ‘Airborne Cemetery’ in Oosterbeek has been given his name: It is Corporal Edward Trochim. The Polish embassy in the Netherlands announced this via their website.

Corporal Edward Trochim was a member of the First Polish Independent Parachute Brigade who fought in Operation Market Garden in September 1944 (read our file). He was killed during the landing on September 19.

Edward Trochim was born on December 22, 1922 in the village of Kamionka, in what is now northeastern Poland near the border with Belarus. After completing 7 years of primary school in Sokółka, he emigrated to France with his father and younger brother in 1937. In January 1940 he joined the Polish army in France. It was rebuilt there after Poland was overrun by Germany and Russia in the autumn of 1939.

Trochim was assigned to the 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division. After the surrender of France he returned to his French home. On his way to join the Polish forces in Britain, he was arrested by Vichy police while crossing the Spanish border. He was imprisoned in a concentration camp in France’s Western Sahara. He was released there by the Americans in 1942. He reported to the First Polish Independent Parachute Brigade, which had now been established in Scotland. After his training he received badge No. 4188. There he was assigned to the anti-tank division, armed with the 6-pounder guns. This department was flown over with gliders during Operation Market Garden on September 19. The glider contains the anti-tank gun, a jeep as a tractor and two paratroopers.

Shot during fierce fighting

On September 19, 1944, Corporal Edward Trochim landed with Aleksander Uzłowski in glider no. 134 at the LZ “L” landing zone near the Johannahoeve. This landing took place amid heavy fighting. The 156th Parachute Battalion was withdrawing, covered by the 7th Battalion ‘The King’s Own Scottish Borderers’. The latter had to hold the landing areas for the landing of the Polish gliders. The Polish correspondent Swiecicki, who previously landed with the British troops, was an eyewitness. He describes how all hell broke loose in which the gliders had to land.

After the fighting, Uzłowski’s eyewitness account was recorded. It can be concluded from this that both British glider pilots, Trochim and Uzłowski, were shot down by the German after surrendering, with Uzłowski miraculously surviving.

Text continues under images

Source: published via facebook by Mateusz Mroz
Horsa Glider during landing at LZ-L. What the photo does not show is the fierce battle taking place around the landing areas at that moment.

Horsa Glider during landing at LZ-L. What the photo does not show is the fierce battle taking place around the landing areas at that moment.

The British glider pilots and the Polish crew of the 6-pounder anti-tank gun were immediately surrounded by the Germans. The pilots and the Poles are shot down. The seriously injured Uzłowski and one of the glider pilots managed to survive.

Research leads to a name on a stone

Corporal Edward Trochim was buried in a field grave near his glider as an unknown soldier of the Polish Army. In May 1946 his remains were transferred to the British war cemetery in Oosterbeek. There Trochim was buried in a grave with a stone with ‘A SOLDIER OF THE WAR 1939-1945’ instead of his name.

Thanks to research by amateur historian and ‘re-enacter’/parachutist Mateusz Mróz, it has now become clear which grave it concerns. This allowed the stone to be replaced by a stone with his name:


The photos below (from the Gelders Archives) show wreckage of a glider, with Jeep, on the Johannahoeve. The aerial photo was taken in October 1944. Several Gliders can still be recognized. Mroz suspects that one of the gliders in the northernmost part of the landing zone is Trochim’s glider. This is because the pilot’s grave was found nearby along the road ‘Amsterdamseweg’.