Lieutenant David Hamlyn Thomas


"Hal" Thomas was born in Llandeilo, near Carmarthen, South Wales, in May 1918, the youngest of three brothers. He attended local schools and later studied Civil Engineering at Swansea University. Having attained a BSc, he was employed at Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners and worked on the development of ammunition factories in Bristol. In 1942, he became a Lieutenant with No.1 Troop, 591st Parachute Squadron in the 6th Airborne Division. He parachuted into Normandy on the 6th June 1944 with the task of clearing landing strips for the glider lift, during the process of which he was shot in the shoulder. Evacuated to a hospital in Southampton, he returned to the Airborne Forces as a Captain and was posted to the 1st Airborne Squadron in 1945, whom he accompanied to Norway to oversee the liberation of the country. After the war he served in Palestine with the 6th Airborne Division and later joined the Territorial Army, serving as second-in-command of an airborne territorial formation. Thomas returned to his former employer and was involved in numerous engineering projects across Europe and Africa, later forming his own company, Development Management Ltd. He retired to Hertfordshire in 1983 with his wife, Florence, whom he had married in 1952 and with whom he had three children. Hal Thomas died in 2010.