Private Frank "Jock or Mac" McCausland
Unit : No.1 Platoon, 21st Independent Parachute Company
Army No. : 2931577
Thanks to Bob Hilton for contributing this account.
Frank McCausland was the only paratrooper of the 1st Airborne Division to take part in all of its operations during the Second World War.
He took part in the raid on the radar station at Bruneval as a member of C-Company, 2nd Parachute Battalion, on the night of the 27th/28th February 1942. He was in Lieutenant Peter Young's Section code-named 'Jellicoe' and their responsibility was the protection of the Royal Engineers and the RAF Radar Technician whilst they dismantled the radar. Upon the successful completion of this task they were then taken off the beach by the Royal Navy. It was the first, truly, Combined Operation of the whole war.
His next jump was with the 2nd Parachute Battalion at Depienne in North Africa on the 29th November 1942, again with C-Company. This was very nearly a complete disaster and it was only the Battalion's fighting skills and tenacity that enabled half the unit to reach Allied lines after 5 days continuous combat.
After the 6 month ground campaign in North Africa he took part in the 1st Parachute Brigade's operation in Sicily, again with C-Company, 2nd Parachute Battalion, on the night of the 12th/13th July 1943.
On his return to U.K. he transferred to the 21st Independent Parachute Company and was posted to No 1 Platoon under the command of Lieutenant David Eastwood. His Platoon Sergeant was "Sonny" Binick and his Section Commander was Sergeant Ben Swallow.
He jumped onto the allotted D.Z. "Z" near Wolfheze in Holland on the 17th September 1944 and assisted with the setting up of markers for the main drop. Along with his Platoon he moved north, over the railway line to Reijers Camp Farm to take up a defensive position for the night of 17th/18th September. On the morning of the 18th he marched east to the area of L.Z. "L", which was to receive a supply drop on this day. After the completion of this task he moved back to Reijers Camp Farm. On the 19th 1 Platoon again moved to the area of L.Z. "L" to mark it for the Polish Glider Lift. Some very severe fighting was experienced in this area, and at one stage the Platoon was cut off from the rest of the Company. They then marched through-out the night, until they reached a location known as Ommershof. Here they dug in for the next two days. In the early hours of the 22nd the Company was withdrawn from this position to the area of the Hartenstein for a short rest, before taking up defence of the vital cross-roads area near the Schoonoord. Here they held their ground, with some minor tactical adjustments, for the next 4 days. Frank, along with the rest of the Company, then withdrew across the Rhine on the evening of the 25th/26th September 1944.
By April 1945 the 21st Independent Parachute Company had been brought back up to full strength. Frank then took part in the liberation of Norway, May-July 1945.
He was born in Liverpool on the 15th November 1919 and was educated at 'Our Lady Immaculate' School, Liverpool. Before he joined up he worked as an upholsters apprentice. He enlisted in 1938 with the Liverpool Scottish (Territorials). He was demobbed at the end of hostilities with number 25 Group.
After the war he worked on Liverpool docks as a stevedore until retirement in 1982, at which time he was beginning to suffer increasingly with emphysema. He was an early member of the 21st Company Club and the 'Para 2 Club', the reunion organization of the 2nd Para Battalion, attending meetings regularly until his illness became too bad. He was married to Linda and had a daughter, Susan.
Frank died on the 4th March 1993.
Extracts from the 21st Independent Parachute Company Club Newsletter.
Frank was a great family man and was particularly proud of his three great-grandchildren, Lee, Stephanie and Mark, the youngest being born on Sunday 28th February and whom, sadly, he never saw. His funeral service was held at St. Matthews Church, Tuebrook and was followed by cremation. The Club was represented by Geoff and Millie Van Ryssel and it sent a wreath in airborne colours bearing the inscription "Happy Landings, Frank - with affection from your old comrades in 21st Independent Parachute Company". There were strong contingents from the Parachute Regiment Association, the Arnhem 1944 Veterans Club and other ex-Service organizations, with two standards on parade. The Club sent a message of sympathy from all members and individual members also sent condolences.
The following tribute has been received from Alf Jones in Germany; "With his wry grin and self deprecating laugh, who could forget Frank? Always the first and the last to carry the heavy L.M.G. on our long route marches, he was an example to us weaker souls, though he would have laughed in derision had he been told this. The epitome of Airborne experience - 2nd Parachute Battalion at Bruneval, North Africa, Italy and Sicily, and 21st at Arnhem and Norway, he saw it all and it did not change his character one little bit. He never knew, or would have accepted had he known, that in No1 Platoon - indeed in the Company - we took pride in having him as a comrade and friend. It would be trite to say he was popular; more than this easily bought jade he was respected, we all knew that he had earned every atom of the respect we freely accorded him, God bless you, Francis. I know that when it comes my turn to land on that final D.Z. I shall again see your wry grin and feel your helping hand. It has been a great privilege to have been called your friend".
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