Captain Philip Charles Aimers Somerville


Unit : Headquarters, 1st Airborne Division

Army No. : 126168

Awards : Bronze Star


Captain Somerville was the Clerk of Works at Divisional Headquarters.


This officer is on the staff at Divisional Headquarters and took part in the operations at Arnhem, on the 17/25th September 1944. On 20th September he was ordered to move south of the river Lek and contact troops of the 2nd Army who had been reported to be in the vicinity of the river.


The ferry in which he and another officer attempted to cross was destroyed by enemy fire a few yards out from the bank. He then swam back and got a small rowing boat.


He covered a distance of some 10 miles on foot through an area which was occupied by Germans and, failing to find any British troops at Elst, he moved to a village East of Driel and lay up there until midday on 21st September. On the way back to the river he contacted elements of the Polish Parachute Brigade who had just dropped and gave valuable information of our dispositions and of the general situation to their staff. He returned to the Divisional perimeter with the leading troops of this Brigade. This officer displayed great devotion to duty and initiative of the highest order.


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