Corporal Charles Weir near Nigmegen Bridge

Charles Weir near Nijmegen Bridge

Corporal Charles Weir at Nijmegen bridge

Corporal Charles Weir


Unit : "A" Troop, 1st Parachute Squadron

Army No. : 2775089

Awards : Mentioned in Despatches


Corporal Weir was recommended for an award for his actions at Arnhem. The following is written in the Headquarters Royal Engineers war diary:


From 18 Sep to 20 Sep 44, Cpl. Weir was in charge of the defence of the basement of a house beside ARNHEM bridge.  During the night 18/19 the position was heavily attacked continuously all night.  Grenades were thrown through the low windows and accurate MG fire directly through the slits.  Cpl. Weir by his resolute determination to hold on at all costs, in spite of severe casualties, saved the basement from falling into enemy hands.


Later, when a POW in Germany Cpl Weir showed great keenness and devotion to duty in attempting to escape.  On night Sep 21/22 he formed one of a party of four who broke out and rejoined the main British forces after moving through Germany and German occupied Holland for two nights and a day.  Throughout the operation his conduct and personal bravery were an inspiration to all under his command.


His escape was made alongside Captain Eric Mackay and Lieutenant Denis Simpson, and Lance-Sergeant Humphreys with whom he shared the following citation for a Mention in Despatches:


Humphreys and Weir were captured on 20th September 1944 after fighting for three days at Arnhem. They were taken to a transit camp at Emmerich (Germany) together with officers of their unit, one of whom succeeded in concealing a hacksaw from his captors. Under his instructions Humphreys and Weir filed through the bars of the cookhouse and through this aperture the party, accompanied by a second officer, escaped the same evening. Walking through the town they gained the open fields and proceeded west to cross the frontier into Holland near Elten. The Rhine was reached near Tolkamer. After keeping the river under observation throughout the day they stole food and a small boat; in this they travelled down the Rhine to Nijmegen, where they encountered British troops.


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