Sergeant Eric Henry Newland


Unit : "D" Troop, No.2 Battery, 1st Airlanding Light Regiment

Army No. : 11003975

Awards : Distinguished Conduct Medal.


Sergeant Newland of 2 Battery was ordered on 21st September to man a gun of "B" Troop 1 Battery near Oosterbeek Church with a scratch detachment consisting of Bombardier Roallier, Gunner Mills and Gunner Bassden from 2 Battery as the original 1 Battery detachment had all been killed. Soon after he had taken over the gun the position came under heavy fire from two tanks at a range of under 300 yards and from German infantry who had infiltrated into some buildings which overlooked the position at a range of about 150 yards.


One of the tanks was eventually stopped by a shot from a PIAT at a range of about 100 yards from the position, but it continued to bring heavy fire down on to the position. No gun could be brought to bear on this tank from its position in its pit. Sergeant Newland was ordered to move his gun out into the open in order to engage the tank with direct fire. The gun was hooked onto a jeep and driven into a position in the open at a range of about 100 yards from the tank which was still firing fiercely. Sergeant Newland then laid the gun himself with great coolness and scored a direct hit with the first round. Not content with this he fired two more rounds at the tank until it was ablaze before he withdrew himself and the detachment crew under cover.


Throughout the whole of this engagement carried out under heavy fire, Sergeant Newland showed complete disregard for his own personal safety and his courage and determination were an inspiration to his men.


Eric Newland stayed in the Army after the war, he may have served in Aden, and retired in the last 1960's. He died in the early 1980's.


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