Ernest Holt in Italy, November 1943

Ernest Holt with his niece, Jean, in 1944/45

Ernest Holt's Military Medal

Private Ernest Holt


Unit : No.15 Platoon, C Company, 2nd Battalion The South Staffordshire Regiment

Army No. : 5052629

Awards : Military Medal


Ernest Holt was born in Nottingham on the 17th February 1916, the son of James and Elizabeth Holt. He had three sisters and six brothers, all of whom fought in and survived the Second World War. For his actions at Arnhem, Holt was awarded the Military Medal. His citation reads:


While his platoon was in a defensive position at Oosterbeek Church, Pte Holt was given the job of observer on the extreme right flank of the position. During his watches he kept constant vigilance and on many occasions, while the rest of the platoon was forced under cover by enemy mortaring and shelling, Pte Holt kept watch and observed enemy moving into position under the cover of this mortaring and likely attacks forming up. In spite of heaviest shelling and mortaring, Holt brought the information to Platoon HQ on the left flank and the likely attacks were broken up by MG and 2" mortar fire from the platoon.


On 23 Sep, during one of his stand down periods, Pte Holt observed a sniper attempting to infiltrate along a ditch on our right flank. In spite of heavy enemy sniping and MG fire, he left his trench, crawled over difficult and open ground and killed the sniper with his rifle.


During the whole period 18-25 Sep, Pte Holt was a most valuable asset to the platoon both from the point of view of morale under most difficult conditions and from the point of view of exemplary conduct in the face of heaviest enemy mortaring and shelling and small arms fire. His reports from his O.P. were most valuable in the successful defence of the Oosterbeek Church area.


Ernest Holt succumbed to cancer in February 1975, aged 59. His Military Medal can be seen on display at the Staffordshire Regimental Museum, at Lichfield Barracks.


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