Corporal Douglas Liddell
Unit : 204th Field Company, 43rd (Wessex) Division
Army No. : 2006847
Awards : Military Medal
On the 25th September 1944 during the assault operation of relieving and supplying 1st Airborne Division, Corporal Liddell was in charge of 3 assault boats manned by his section. The whole operation was carried out under intense Machine Gun and mortar fire. In spite of his boats being holed and other crews being wounded he contrived to keep 3 boats in operation throughout. Corporal Liddell only stopped when there were no boats left, and all his were out of action. Corporal Liddell through his exceptional energy, initiative and devotion to duty materially affected the quantity of men and supplies sent over to 1st Airborne Division.
Douglas Liddell died in 1985. His son, Doug Liddell (Lt-Col (retd)), has provided this account of his own:
"Although I grew up knowing that my father had won the military medal, he never talked about the war or of the circumstances in which he won the MM. I later joined the Army and served in HQ 16 Parachute Brigade for several years in the early 1970's. During that time, my father visited us several times in Aldershot, often having a few whiskies with my friends, but never once mentioning Arnhem or what he had done there. A few years later, when I was serving at Brunssum in The Netherlands, he asked me to take him to the military cemeteries at Arnhem because "he had some friends who were buried there". We duly went and had a very emotional day during which he broke down several times as we discovered the graves of his mates. A couple of days after that, when he had got over the experience, he did speak a little bit, in general but not in any detail, about his experiences at Arnhem and the relentless struggle to sustain and recover the 1st Airborne Division. Clearly an experience that had a profound impact on those involved and not one they wished to share with others who had not been there."
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