1st DECEMBER, 1944. in the Congleton Chronicle:

 

LONG ARM of COINCIDENCE

Congleton Soldier's Adventure in Holland

 

The long arm of coincidence played it’s part in a remarkable adventure that has befallen a Congleton soldier with the British Forces in Holland. His name is Pte, John Carter, whose wife resides at 4, Bridge Row.

Pte. Carter's sister married a Dutch soldier when the Nederlands Brigade billeted in Congleton over two years ago; consequently when he sailed for the continent in September he was given a slip of paper containing the name of his Dutch soldier’s family and asked if he got the slightest chance to try tot trace them. 

As his unit went up the line he would show this slip of paper and, producing a map, ask to be shown where the village was in relation to his present position; but it was no easy task, especially as he did not even know whether the place

he was looking for had been liberated.

Then came the day (he writes) when we travelled a good few miles— our division was to take part in a  big attack and we were having a rest and being reorganised. Picture us, then, entering a village some ten miles from ‘s-Hertogenbosch.  The column halls in the village for the purpose of finding billets, the usual crowd of small boys collects to ask for chocolates and "cigarettes for papa. I show my paper to a youth. He looks at it, looks at me, then dashes off entering a house some hundred yards up the road. I think to myself, there's something brewing here. He comes out with a young woman, she reads the note, and then nearly falls on my neck. It comes out that she’s the sister of the Dutch soldier!

But wait. That's nothing. Pte Carter goes on to state that later the same day he visited the family, and got the biggest shock of his life, for there in the house was his brother-in-law, the Dutch soldier, who had reached home only an hour or two beforehand and was at that very moment being embraced by his mother and family, who hadn't set eyes on him for four years.

The extraordinary part about it, he adds, is that for days and weeks his (Pte. Carter's) unit had been travelling through France, Belgium and Holland; this was the -first time they had halted in a village, and it was the one he was looking for his sister. Mrs. John Van Oss, lives at 14, Vaudrey Crescent.