The Escape of Pte John Crowther during the Battle for Arnhem Bridge

Account of the escape 3386706 Pte John Clifford Crowther, 3 Para Bn. 1 Para Brigade. Interviewed 10 January 1945. Information taken for The National Archives

John was born on 18 July 1921 and was a ‘Fitter’ by profession and lived in Blackburn, Lancashire until he joined the army on 2 September 1939. 

John was captured in Arnhem on 18 Sep 44. He promptly escaped on the 19 Sep 44. John made his way to Brussels and arrived back in the UK on 28 September 1944.

At the commencement of the Arnhem airborne operation John was dropped with the advance party by glider about seven miles West of Arnhem on 17 Sep 44.His Company (‘B’ Company) was badly mauled in the first attack, and he was captured early on the morning of 18 Sep.In Arnhem the Germans attempted to interrogate John, but he answered no questions. He was then taken into a house in the outskirts of the town and were kept there all day.19 Sep 44, John managed to escape.  The house where he was held was attacked by British troops and in the shouting and excitement John managed to jump out of the window. He was fired on by his own people and he therefore had to lie low for several hours. At about 1400 hrs John was found by the 11 Para Bn of the 4 Brigade, and later joined his own Unit.

John was evacuated with the Division on the night of 25-26 Sep.


Created with information supplied by R Hilton

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