Major Christopher Perrin-Brown MC


Unit : "T" Company, 1st Parachute Battalion

Army No. : 121945

Awards : Distinguished Service Order, Military Cross


Major Perrin-Brown was in command of the 1st Battalion's T Company. As the Battalion advanced towards the high ground to the north of Arnhem, during the night of Sunday 17th September, a radio message was received from the 2nd Battalion at the bridge, asking for reinforcements. Major Perrin-Brown was alongside Lieutenant-Colonel Dobie at the time that his commander was faced with the decision of whether to continue towards the high ground or abandon it in favour of the bridge. "I don't think David Dobie replied to the message. He just called an O-Group. He was of the opinion that we were in such a muck in the woods that we would never fight our way through. He said, "I'm not going on to the north of Arnhem; we'll try to get down to help Johnnie at the bridge." I was instructed to lead off." T Company led the Battalion on through numerous skirmishes and, as a consequence of the hard fighting during the next thirty-six hours, Major Perrin-Brown was awarded the Distinguished Service Order:


At Oosterbeek on Monday 18th September at about 0900 hrs Major Perrin-Brown's company was ordered to attack high ground astride the main road. He gained his objective against heavy opposition and held his ground despite intense mortar and MG fire. Later he was given a further objective and it was due to his personal leadership that it was secured. By this time the battalion was being attacked from the rear and there was no other company available. Major Perrin-Brown was again ordered to attack and secure a road junction, which necessitated street fighting. He led his company, now reduced to 22, with great dash and gained the road junction despite heavy opposition including armoured cars. In Arnhem the following morning he once more led the attack against tremendous odds - he personally took his men forward in a brilliant bayonet assault against entrenched enemy. At the end of this assault he had only 8 men left and no other officers. Throughout this grueling action lasting three days Major Perrin-Brown showed outstanding leadership and gallantry and was largely responsible for the advances made.


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