In civilian life George Beedham was a french polisher who enlisted into the Green Howards during World War II. Records indicate that he was probably in Egypt with the 1st Battalion when he answered the call for volunteers for airborne forces.
He was posted to the 11th Parachute Battalion after qualifying as a military parachutist in June 1943 and fought with the battalion during the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944. He jumped under enemy fire, as part of the second lift, on 18 September onto the Ginkelse Heide, several miles west of Arnhem.
After the battalion had been fought to a standstill by German blocking lines he withdrew to the defensive pocket established at Oosterbeek. It is believed that he swam across the river to safety when the remnants of the British 1st Airborne Division withdrew to Allied lines south of the Rhine after the 9 day battle.
George received a Mention in Despatches for his actions at Arnhem.
Most units of the 1st Airborne Division were decimated as a result of Arnhem and the 11th Battalion was amalgamated with the 3rd Parachute Battalion in November 1944 and it appears that George was transferred to the Army Reserve one year later.
Compiled by Harvey Grenville with the kind assistance of Mark HowardRead More