Lieutenant Stanley E Watling

Stanley Edward Watling BEM was the son of Edward and Ethel Watling, of Woodbridge, Suffolk and the husband of Phyllis Watling. He was commissioned in the Grenadier Guards and volunteered for airborne forces. He was an orphan and was raised by his grandmother and an aunt in the Suffolk village of Bredfield. Stanley excelled at school in sports and academically and was one of the last to be evacuated from Dunkirk whilst serving with the Grenadier Guards. He met his wife in 1937 and they had three children Tony, Anne and Terry.

Lieutenant Watling successfully completed his parachute training on course number 99 at RAF Ringway, from 19 January to 3 February 1944. His course report stated “Efficient leader and pupil, always cheerful and reliable”.

He was posted to A Company, as O/C (Officer Commanding) 4 Platoon, 156 Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, and during the fighting in North Africa he was responsible for the rescue of a wounded man from a minefield. The man had been carrying important papers and in recovering him Lt Watling had also been wounded, and for this he was awarded the BEM (British Empire Medal). He also took part in Operation Market Garden (Arnhem).

Lt Watkins was killed in action on 19 September 1944, aged 28, and was given a field burial 50 yards north of Oosterbeek Station by the roadside, and was re-interred to Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery on 8 August 1945.

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Rod Gibson

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