11th Parachute Battalion

Gelders Archief 1523
Gelders Archief 1523

You know as well as I do there are a lot of bloody Germans coming at us. Well, all we can do is to stay here and hang on in the hope that somebody catches us up. We must fight for our lives and stick together. We've fought the Germans before - in North Africa, Sicily, Italy. They weren't good enough for us then, and they're bloody well not good enough for us now. They're up against the finest soldiers in the world. An hour from now you will take up defensive positions north of the road outside. Make certain you dig in well and that your weapons and ammo are in good order. We are getting short of ammo, so when you shoot you shoot to kill. Good luck to you all"

Name: Major Richard Thomas Henry Lonsdale

Nick name "Dicky"

Army number: 62129

Former Leicestershire Regiment

2nd In Command


Born 27-12-1913, Manor Hamilton, Ireland


Died  23-11-1988, Bath district, Somerset


Back across the river during Operation Berlin.


Bar to D.S.O.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard "Dickie" Thomas Henry Lonsdale DSO & Bar, MC (27 December 1913 – 23 November 1988) was an officer of the British Army who served with the Parachute Regiment throughout much of the Second World War.


Born in 1913, Lonsdale initially entered the British Army in the 1930s as a private before attending Royal Military College, Sandhurst and being commissioned as an officer in the Leicestershire Regiment. In 1938, while serving with his regiment in Waziristan, he was awarded the Military Cross. After the outbreak of the Second World War he was a founding member of the 151st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment in India. By 1943 he had been promoted to lead A Company of the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment and served with distinction in the Allied invasion of Sicily. After returning to England he was made second in command of the 11th Battalion, Parachute Regiment in 1944, shortly before flying to Arnhem with the rest of the 4th Parachute Brigade and 1st Airborne Division. Here he again served with distinction during the Battle of Arnhem, and despite being wounded he took command of a mixed force that successfully defended the Allied perimeter against repeated German attacks. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) twice, for his actions in Sicily and Arnhem.

After the war Lonsdale remained with the army and took command of the 3rd Parachute Battalion. He later served with the King's African Rifles in Uganda before he retired from the army in 1951. He died on 23 November 1988.

Name: Private Reginald Spray

Army number:







Back across the river during Operation Berlin.

Copyright D Rudd (Pegasus Archive)
Copyright D Rudd (Pegasus Archive)

Name: Private Richard Whipp Rudd

Former The Loyal Regiment

Army number:3854378



Born 4-2-1915, Manchester


Died 1980


Back across the river during Operation Berlin.