Corporal William Wilfred Howden


Unit : "L" Section (No.2 Company-Brigade and Artillery Signals), Headquarters, 1st Airlanding Brigade

Army No. : 2581206

Awards : Silver Star


This NCO was the crew commander of the 22 set linking the Headquarters 1 Airlanding Brigade with the units under command during the battle of Arnhem, September 17th - 25th. During the period the set never failed, although subject to intense mortar bombardment and shelling. The remainder of the crew became casualties before the end of the fourth day and Corporal Howden continued to man the set alone for 48 hours until a relief could be obtained. He had during this period no rest or sleep and was constantly under intense fire.


That this link was never out of action was due wholly to the superb endeavours of this NCO who remained completely unruffled to the end. Corporal Howden was an outstanding example of devotion to duty under the most dangerous and difficult battle conditions.


This set happened to be on the same frequency as the guns of 30 Corps in support of 1 Airborne Division and fire direction was carried out on this link. This was instrumental in breaking up many enemy attacks.


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