Lance-Corporal Peter Badger


4699060 Lance-Corporal Peter George Henry William Badger was born in Sheffield on the 12th August 1923. Having worked as a bank clerk, he enlisted in the Yorks and Lancaster Regiment on the 21st August 1941, but due to his age it appears this was deferred until the 11th November 1942. He completed Parachute Course No.64 at RAF Ringway, 10th to 21st May 1943; his instructor noted "Good pupil and Section Leader", and was subsequently posted to North Africa as a reinforcement for the 2nd Parachute Battalion, where he probably took part in the operations in Sicily and Italy. In 1944, he held the post of "A" Company clerk.

On the 17th September 1944, he parachuted onto DZ-X with the 2nd Battalion and participated in the defence of Arnhem Bridge. Having been wounded, he was taken prisoner on the 21st September 1944. According to his German issued POW card, on the following day he was sent to Lazaret 303 with a suspected pelvic fracture, but subsequently arrived at Stalag XIB at Fallingbostel on the 30th September, where he was diagnosed as having a state of paralysis in both legs. His legs recovered, and on the 28th January 1945 he was transferred to Stalag 3A at Luckenwalde, where he was freed by Russian forces on the 20th April 1945.

It is likely that Badger decided to make his own way to the West instead of awaiting repatriation. He must have successfully reached the Western Allies as he completed a POW questionnaire on the 3rd May 1945, but died due to "poisoning" on the 7th May 1945, aged 21. It has been said that he accidentally drank a highly toxic substance. He was first buried at the US Military Cemetery at Margraten, but was subsequently interred in Overloon War Cemetery, plot 4.A.2.