Lieutenant Edward E. Shaw


Unit : "C" Troop, 1st Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery

Army No. : 258511

Awards : Military Cross


Lieutenant Ted Shaw commanded "C" Troop of the 1st Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery. The Troop were assigned to support the 3rd Battalion on their advance into Arnhem. On Monday 18th September, Shaw was at the front of the advance with "B" Company and just one of his anti-tank guns. The Company made it into Arnhem, but as day dawned German units pinned them down in a stalemate that prevented them from moving forward until it got dark. Of one brush with the enemy, Shaw wrote:


"I was sitting at the foot of the stairs, opposite the door to the street, when a shot whistled past my ear. It was Sergeant Garnsworthy firing a single shot from his Sten, past me and out of the window to the right where he had seen a German infantry section passing. A Bren opened up then, firing from further up the street on the left, and that forced two Germans to come into our house - only six or seven feet from where I was sitting. I fired at them with my Sten; one fell into the house; one fell outside. The one inside was wounded - hit in the stomach. I made him as comfortable as I could in a chair, but I couldn't do much because there was firing at the rear of the house, and it was obvious that we had to get out. We tried the back way. It was quite a drop to the ground, so I got a long table, put it out of the window and slid down on it. But I came under rifle fire and had to come back into the house through a door that I found. I eventually got away by dashing down the street with the lads."


Lieutenant Shaw made it to Oosterbeek with the remnants of the 1st Parachute Brigade. For his actions against the enemy on the 20th September, he was awarded the Military Cross:


Lieutenant Shaw was a Troop Commander of the 1st Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery, RA. On the afternoon of the 20th September 1944 at ARNHEM, his gun positions in support of the 1st Parachute Brigade were heavily attacked by enemy tanks and infantry. During that afternoon Lieutenant Shaw gave an almost superhuman display of persistent gallantry.


His gun detachments were almost all killed or wounded but he himself continued to man a gun until his last companion was killed. On at least three occasions that afternoon he returned to one or other of the guns and manned them with a single companion only leaving them on each occasion when his assistants had all been killed.


Lieutenant Shaw's heroism on this most difficult occasion continued for several hours. His consistent and utter disregard of all considerations of personal safety was quite exceptional.


Prisoner of War: 25th September 1944


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