Lance-Sergeant Stan Halliwell

 

Unit : "B" Troop, 1st Parachute Squadron

 

Stan Halliwell was a 25 year old engineer and a member of the 1st Parachute Squadron that fought at Arnhem Bridge. On the morning of Tuesday 19th, he was taking ammunition to an isolated position that was held by other members of the 1st Para Squadron, but he was captured by German infantry on the way.

 

Later in the day, Halliwell was offered the chance to temporarily return to his comrades under a flag of truce. The Germans believed that Frost's defence of the Bridge was futile and that he had no hope of being relieved by friendly forces; Halliwell was told to put these facts to John Frost and encourage him to surrender. The German Officer who briefed him added that they trusted him as a gentlemen to return and hand himself over to German troops once he had been given a reply. Halliwell was provided with an escort across the Bridge, but there was no truce and the Bridge defenders opened fire. Stan ran across and shouted out to friendly troops not to shoot him. He ran from building to building amongst all the fighting, during a period that he describes as the worst ten minutes of his life. Eventually he made it to Lt-Colonel Frost's HQ, and he informed him of the proposal. He also took the liberty of telling him that their SS opponents seemed to be very disheartened by their extremely heavy losses, news that gave John Frost reason for momentary cheer. However Frost's reply to the offer of surrender was blunt, and he told Halliwell to return and tell them to go to hell. Stan didn't relish telling them that, nor was he enthusiastic about setting back across the Bridge again. Frost said that the decision was entirely up to him, so Stan Halliwell remained with his men and took his place in the Bridge defence once more, reasoning that the Germans would probably be able to guess the reply before long.

 

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