Brigadier William McCausland Tindall Faithfull


Unit : Headquarters Royal Artillery, 6th Airborne Division

Army No. : 31549

Awards : Distinguished Service Order


Brigadier Faithfull has been my Commander Royal Artillery for nearly one year. He had the full burden of responsibility for the organization of fire support for operation Varsity (the landing of this Division East of the Rhine on 24th March last).


The proper co-ordination of this support was vital to the success of the operation. Although the Division on landing, would have the advantage of surprise, once this was lost, the retention of objectives which had been seized would depend on the rapid availability of ground fire.


Brigadier Faithfull worked tirelessly during the planning period. The physical difficulties of ensuring that all concerned would speak with one voice were considerable, since supporting artillery was all in British Liberation Army. Thanks entirely to him, the arduous preparatory work was successfully completed.


On the day itself he was a tower of strength. He was badly shaken up on landing, his glider being a total wreck. Moreover his Brigade Major was killed. He was entirely undeterred by these facts, and by the unavoidable difficulties caused during the early hours by lack of communications and the fog of war. Although the whole area of the landing was swept by enemy fire for some hours, Brigadier Faithfull moved freely in the open with entire disregard for his own safety. His drive and determination inspired all gunners concerned in the operation.


During the five weeks advance which followed, Brigadier Faithfull, commanding two field and often two medium regiments besides the Divisional artillery, showed the greatest dash as well as much skill in his handling of the guns. He was constantly up in front, ensuring that the leading troops had all available fire support.


This officer's professional excellence and inspiring gallantry played a major part in the success of the airborne landing with all the incalculable results which were made possible by this success.


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