Ernie Read enlisted into The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment in March 1940.
While serving overseas with the Beds and Herts in the Middle East as a Corporal he answered the call for volunteers for airborne forces and joined 151 Parachute Battalion, later to be redesignated as 156 Para Bn in November 1942.
After training in the Middle East the Battalion landed in Italy with the 1st Airborne Division in September 1943 and spearheaded the advance from Taranto to Bari. It left Italy in November to return to the UK to prepare for the invasion of Europe.
Ernie had become Acting Company Sergeant Major for HQ Company by the time the Battalion was deployed to assist in the capture of the Rhine Crossings at Arnhem in September 1944.
He made an opposed parachute drop under enemy fire on the second lift on 18 September 1944 and was taken as a Prisoner of War in the battle.
Ernie later served in Palestine with 1st Parachute Battalion as Regimental QuarterMaster Sergeant and transferred to the Army Reserve in 1947.
Compiled with the kind assistance of Ted ReadRead More