Lance Corporal Austin Backhurst

08 Jul 1945

Austin Backhurst was the son of Gordon and Ethel Backhurst and the husband of Cecilia Backhurst, of Barwick-in-Elmet. He enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps and volunteered for airborne forces.

Lance Corporal Backhurst successfully completed parachute training and was posted to 133 Parachute Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, and took part in Operation Market Garden (Arnhem).

L/Cpl Backhurst was listed as missing on 25 September 1944, boarded a German ambulance train in Apeldoorn on 6 October, and was later confirmed as being a POW in Stalag XIB. He returned to the UK on 27 April 1945, and was presumably immediately admitted to hospital. He died on 8 July 1945, aged 26, of purulent meningitis, contracted on war service, in the Seacroft Hospital at Leeds (Roll of Honour, 5th revised edition, 2011). He is buried in Barwick-in-Elmet (All Saints) Churchyard.

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By Rod Gibson

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