Captain David Allsop

Captain David Allsop


Unit : Headquarters, 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron

Army No. : 105457

Awards : Bronzen Leeuw


Captain Allsop was the Second-in-Command of the Reconnaissance Squadron. After Major Gough left his men on Sunday 17th September to location Major-General Urquhart, never to return, command of the Squadron was passed to Captain Allsop for the remainder of the battle. By this time the Squadron had been halted by the German blocking line around Wolheze and no headway could be made despite attempts to outflank the enemy. Allsop wrote: "Each movement we made was blunted by an enemy force in front of us."


During the fighting at Oosterbeek, the Squadron was placed under the command of Brigadier Hackett; Allsop recalls him: "[He] seemed to have the idea that it was good for the chaps in the slit trenches to see him walking about, and so he tended to ignore the firing. When Hackett came and talked to you, it wasn't crouched down in a hole in the ground - you got out and strolled around, as if you were at Henley!"


During the evacuation on the night of the 25th September, Captain Allsop was twice wounded, yet he made it to the over side of the river and despite an injury to his thigh he managed to walk unaided to Driel, where his wounds were dressed. For his leadership of the Squadron during the battle, Allsop was awarded the Dutch Bronze Lion:


At Arnhem, this officer took over command of the Reconnaissance Squadron after his Commander had become a casualty. From the time the Divisional perimeter was formed on the 20th September until the positions were evacuated, the squadron under the leadership of Captain Allsop was always where the fighting was thickest.


The initiative and resource shown by this officer was quite outstanding and the excellence of his leadership both then and during the subsequent withdrawal enabled a large proportion of his men to be evacuated. During this withdrawal Captain Allsop was wounded in two places but in spite of this he managed to make his own way across the river.


This officers gallantry, fearless leadership and devotion to duty were outstanding.


See also: Recce Squadron War Diary.


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