Captain Henry Faulkner Brown


Unit : No.3 Troop, 4th Parachute Squadron

Army No. : 234415

Awards : Military Cross


As darkness fell on Friday 22nd September, Captain Brown led a party of 15 sappers to the Rhine where attempts were made to ferry across men of the 3rd Battalion of the Polish Brigade. The crossing was an extremely improvised affair, the Division's engineers had gathered six 2-man reconnaissance boats and an RAF dinghy which were linked together with signals wire and pulled back and forth across the river. Only about 15 Polish soldiers could be taken across at a time and it was hoped that by dawn, 200 of them would be north of the River. In the event, however, only 52 made it across.


For actions against the enemy at Oosterbeek, Captain Brown was awarded the Military Cross. His citation reads:


Between 20.9.44 and 22.9.44, this officer with 30 OR's was attached to my {Major Wilson} Coy {21st Independent Parachute Company}. He held a part of the front which was very exposed to the enemy fire. During the period this officer made several sorties to drive off enemy massing for an assault. He led a small party which destroyed an S.P. gun and regardless of the enemy fire at close range continuously went from trench to trench giving his men encouragement. His two senior officers were killed and most of his men became casualties but by his personal courage and example he encouraged his few remaining men to drive back nine determined attacks by the enemy and not one yard of ground was surrendered.


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