Private Edward James Rylands
Unit : "C" Company, 8th Parachute Battalion
Service No. : 1537347
Awards : Military Medal, Mentioned in Despatches.
Private Rylands was taken prisoner on the 8th June 1944. The following is his M.I.9 evasion report:
Captured : Troarn, 8 Jun 44.
Escaped : Beaujon Hospital, 19 Aug 44.
Date of Birth : 4 Dec 19.
Army Service : 4 years.
Peacetime Profession : Decorator.
Private Address : 395 Arnaud Street, Liverpool, 7.
I left an unknown base on 5 Jun 44 at 2320 hrs and was dropped from C-47 (Douglas), baling out over Normandy at 0045 hrs (6 Jun).
I was badly wounded by 13 bullets in Troarn (France, 1:250,000, Sheet 8, U 16) on the night of 8 Jun. I was left in a cemetery by our own troops and was picked up by the Germans. After a day I was transported to a field hospital where I was treated for 10 days by a British Medical Officer (Major Darling, R.A.M.C., of the 6th Airborne Div.). On the night of 18 Jun I was transported to Beaujon German Air Force Hospital in Paris. I received treatment, including two operations from the Germans. I remained here for two months. On 19 Aug at 1200 hrs I was given a pair of overalls, boots, and a cap by a French civilian hospital worker. I managed to escape by climbing over the hospital walls, and made contact with the Resistance Movement (F.F.I.) who happened to be engaging the Germans with small-arms fire. I was given a good home, where I stayed until I reported myself to the H.Q., Paris on 4 Sep. The lady of the house was a qualified doctor and took care of my wounds, which consisted of M/G fire in the back and left leg.
For his actions, Private Rylands was Mentioned in Despatches. His citation reads:
Rylands was taken prisoner at Troarn on 8th June 1944 after receiving thirteen bullet wounds. His captors sent him to Beaujon Air Force Hospital in Paris. Although during the next two months he underwent two operations, on 19th August 1944 he climbed over the Hospital walls, wearing clothes given to him by a French civilian. He managed to get in touch with Free French Infantry who were fighting the Germans in that area.
Until Allied forces reached Paris on 4th September 1944, Rylands was lodged with a doctor, who continued to treat his wounds.
This man showed great determination in escaping although still suffering from his wounds.
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