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Staff-Sergeant Dennis Briggs

Men of the Glider Pilot Regiment

Staff-Sergeant Dennis William Briggs

 

Unit : "E" Squadron, No.2 Wing, The Glider Pilot Regiment

 

Dennis Briggs was the third of five brothers who joined the Armed Forces during the Second World War, two of the remainder serving in the Fleet Air Arm, the others in the Royal Marines and Royal Navy. He participated in the landings at Sicily in 1943, and at Normandy during the following year, where he and his co-pilot, Sergeant Greenhill, flew a Horsa glider on the Second Lift on the evening of the 6th June, carrying men of the 1st Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles. The following is a newspaper article reporting on his role at Arnhem:

 

ARNHEM HERO - Carlton Glider Pilot's Bravery on Dutch Battlefield.

 

Among the men wounded while waiting to cross into safety after the heroic battle at Arnhem, Holland, was S/Sergt. Dennis Briggs, a glider pilot, whose home is "Ivanhoe", Bell Street, Carlton.

 

S/Sergt. Briggs was waiting to cross into safety when the Germans began to shell the area where they were hidden. They were ordered to drop down, but one soldier, who was wounded and probably delirious, did not obey the command, and continued to walk along the road.

 

Without thought about his own peril, S/Sergt. Briggs, acting with great presence of mind, jumped up and pulled the wounded man to safety. It was during this incident that he was wounded by shrapnel on one side.

 

While he was being operated on at a hospital in Holland, the building was bombed by German aircraft. He is now back in this country, and progressing favourably at a hospital at Leamington Spa.

 

S/Sergt. Briggs landed in France on D-Day, and took part in some of the most bitter fighting.

 

In the landings at Arnhem, he piloted a Hauser glider, and despite a rough trip down, due to atmosphere conditions, managed to make a safe landing within the prescribed area.

 

S/Sergt. Briggs is the third son of Mr. and Mrs. T. Briggs. He volunteered for service with the Territorial Army in June 1939, and went ? two months later.

 

For over three years Dennis [was based] in England with the Royal Artillery, rising to the rank of sergeant. ? he applied for permission to volunteer as a pilot in the R.A.F., but was subsequently directed into the Glider Pilot Corps.

 

After a short course of training at the equivalent of the R.A.F's. Initial Training Wing, he went to an elementary flying training school, where he received instruction on powered aircraft. He graduated in the early part of 1943.

 

Dennis was sent abroad with his regiment in June, 1943. And after taking part in the landings at Sicily and Italy, returned once more to this country.

 

Born at Carlton, Dennis attended the Higher Standard School. Prior to joining the Services, he was employed in the offices of Mr. E. H. E. Reddich of Sherwood-street, Nottingham. In his youth he was a member of the troop of Carlton Boy Scouts attached to the Main-street Methodist Church. He is very keen on outdoor sport, specialising in football and cricket. He married Miss J. ? of Woodborough.

 

Dennis Briggs died during the 1990's.

 

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